It looks like Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could be about to go to war over the situation surrounding Antoine Griezmann.
The 31-year-old French ace joined Atletico on loan from Barca in 2021 with an obligation to make the transfer permanent for €40m. There is now a dispute between the two clubs over the terms of the permanent buy-in clause coming into effect.
According to Barcelona, Griezmann for 45 minutes or more in more than 50% of the games he was available for in his first year on loan was enough to trigger the clause. This means the Catalans already see the Frenchman as an Atletico player and want the €40m due.
Atletico, however, argue that the mandatory buy-in clause will only be activated if Griezmann plays at least 45 minutes in 50% of the games in his two seasons on loan – which is why they used him for 30 minutes or less so far. term.
This sparked speculation that Barcelona were considering hitting Atletico Madrid with a lawsuit over non-payment of fees. However, Los Rojiblancos are not perturbed by the situation because they think they are right on the contractual clause.
After their last La Liga game against Celta Vigo on Saturday, in which Griezmann came on again after the hour mark, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo was asked to respond to Barca threatening them of a possible trial.
In response, he said (h/t SPORT): “No, I don’t know, nothing has reached us. We don’t know if we were sued or not.
Cerezo seemed reluctant to go into detail about the clause whose interpretation is correct but added cryptically: “Everything is possible in this life.”
If a resolution isn’t found on the matter, there’s a chance Griezmann could return to Barcelona at the end of the season. Given that his contract with the Catalans runs until 2024, the Blaugrana would then have to support his massive salaries for another year if they are unable to get him off the books.