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Atletico Madrid president denies Antoine Griezmann agreement with Barcelona

Atletico Madrid president denies Antoine Griezmann agreement with Barcelona

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has denied reports suggesting that they have agreed to re-sign Antoine Griezmann on a permanent deal from Barcelona.

The 31-year-old re-joined Los Rojiblancos on a two-year loan deal from the Catalan giants last summer, but he has struggled for regular game time so far this season.

Griezmann is yet to start a competitive match this term due to a clause in his deal which states that Atletico will pay Barca £35m (€40m) to sign the forward if he plays more than 30 minutes in over 80% of his matches at the club.

A recent report claims that the two clubs are in negotiations over a reduced fee of around £22m for the France international and that they are close to reaching an agreement.

However, Cerezo has since played down reports of an agreement with Barca and insists that there are no plans at present to hold negotiations with the Catalan club.

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann on September 10, 2022© Reuters

“Neither have we met with Barca, nor is there news that we are going to meet,” Cerezo told reporters via the Daily Mirror.

“The Griezmann issue is very clear. There is nothing. If an agreement has to be reached, it will be reached, but everything remains the same.”

Cerezo has also defended the treatment of Griezmann by head coach Diego Simeone, adding: “Simeone is the best coach we can have and he knows very well what he is doing. If players are changed it is because they are tired or injured [in order] to win.”

The Daily Mirror claims that Griezmann is keen to play more regularly as he is concerned about his position in the France national team squad ahead of the World Cup later this year.

Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring for Atletico Madrid on September 7, 2022© Reuters

However, the 108-cap international insists that he remains content at the Wanda Metropolitano and intends to “give everything” whenever he steps out onto the pitch for Atletico.

Speaking to reporters after scoring the winning goal in their 2-1 Champions League triumph over Porto last week, Griezmann said: “It is what it is, it’s out of my hands. [I’m] grateful to God for being here.

“My family is happy, I of course want more, but I am going to give everything I have in the minutes I have. I feel like a man of the club, I am happy here and I only want to play here and give everything for the club, for Cholo and for the fans.”

Across two spell with Atletico, Griezmann has made 299 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 144 goals and providing 57 assists.

Griezmann has been named on the substitutes’ bench once again for Atletico’s Champions League Group B clash away against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night, but he could make his 300 appearance for the club off the bench.

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