Earlier this week, reports in Spain claimed Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu met with the striker’s family to discuss a €100m move from Los Rojiblancos, leaving Atletico’s hierarchy furious with their rivals.
Further reports suggest Robert Fernandez, Barcelona’s technical director, spoke to with Griezmann’s agent with Guillermo Amor, head of the club’s youth development telling Movistar+ that “In the case of Griezmann, there are a lot of players we could be talking with, initiating some kind of relationship if there’s an opportunity. We’re obliged to have contact with players. It’s something which is done.”
Amor previously claimed not to know whether the meetings had taken place but took the opportunity to portray his employers in a bad light.
The two clubs occupy the top two places in La Liga with both unbeaten so far. Barcelona are top and adding Griezmann would strengthen their forward line following the departure of Neymar Jr last summer. Whether Atletico will be minded to sell to the Catalans is another matter.
Already reports are circulating in England that Manchester United are their favoured buyers but it will depend on the player which club he moves to. Laying all this groundwork has put Barcelona in pole position but if the ultimate sanction of a transfer ban is meted out, it will have all been for nothing.