Barcelona are seeking legal advice over Antoine Griezmann’s loan spell at Atletico Madrid, reports in Spain have claimed.
The Frenchman’s two-year loan spell reportedly includes a €40m obligation to buy if Griezmann plays more than 45 minutes in 14 games for Atletico this season, but he’s yet to start a game in La Liga this season.
Instead, Griezmann has made three appearances as a substitute, coming on the 64th, 62nd and 75th minute respectively, and such a limited amount of playing time means a permanent move is unlikely to happen.
Atletico manager Diego Simeone has publicly suggested he’s under orders not to play Griezmann, telling reporters recently, “You have known me for ten years now; I am a man of the club and I always will be,” and Mundo Deportivo claim Barcelona are now exploring the legality of what Atletico are doing.
The summer transfer window has now closed, meaning Barcelona and Atletico are unable to do anything about Griezmann’s loan deal now, but it’s widely known that the 31-year-old has no long-term future at Camp Nou.
Barcelona were delighted to get Griezmann’s excessively high salary off their books last summer, to the extent that they were willing to strengthen title rivals Atletico to get a deal done. But Atletico will have to take up the €40m purchase option if Griezmann plays too many games, and keeping him at the Wanda Metropolitano for another two years doesn’t appear to be on the agenda.
Griezmann scored just three goals in 26 La Liga games last season – adding a further five in all competitions – which is someway short of the superb goalscoring numbers he put up before his move to Barcelona in 2019.
In five previous seasons with Atletico, Griezmann scored 94 goals in 180 La Liga games, and never failed to score at least 15 times.
His time at Barcelona yielded 22 goals in 74 La Liga games, but the Catalans moved quickly to get him out of the club after the extent of their dire finances were made public.