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Barcelona set to close Antoine Griezmann deal, despite late attempts from PSG

L’Équipe report this morning that PSG Sporting Director Antero Henrique took a meeting with Antoine Griezmann’s representatives last week in an attempt to convince the World Cup winner to join the Ligue 1 champions.

Although Griezmann did not announce his future destination when he declared last night that he would be leaving Atletico Madrid this summer, it is no secret that he is in very advanced negotiations to join Barcelona. The newspaper suggests that a document of intent was even signed around the 31st March. During a meeting yesterday, the forward was due to tell his club representatives of his desire to join Barça after having rejected the Catalan club’s advances last Spring.

At that time, virtually everything was agreed in terms of a provisional contract and negotiations this year have occurred on the basis of the same raw numbers: a contact of 5 years and a salary worth €17m a year net. That is €4m a year net than what Griezmann is currently earning with Atleti, but a sacrifice he is willing to make.

His decision was made very quickly after Atletico Madrid’s elimination from the Champions’ League vs. Juventus, with the La Liga title aspirations evaporating around roughly the same time.

Barcelona had never ceased contact with Grizi or his camp over the last 12 months – lawyers from the Catalan club had advanced negotiations in the second half go March. The departure of very good friends Lucas Hernandez & Diego Godin did little to convince Griezmann to stay.

Barça will no doubt have to activate the player’s release clause and the exact details regarding it are not 100% confirmed: the claim seems to be that the player can be bought out of his current contract for €120m before the 30th June and would otherwise  cost €200m after that date – we await for that to be cleared up. Real Sociedad will touch 20% of any future transfer and Griezmann wants negotiations to go as smoothly as possible so that everyone can leave on good terms. It’s not clear what Atletico currently think about that.

Barça intend to move quickly now: after their elimination from the Champions’ League – at 28-years-old for €120m the Frenchman remains an exceptional potential piece of business. Last year, Manchester United were also in the starting blocks for the player and Bayern Munich enquired this winter.

Last week, a meeting occurred in Paris between the French lawyer of the player, Sevan Karian, an unnamed well-known agent and the player’s sister, Erika Griezmann and PSG Sporting Director Antero Henrique at the Hotel Peninsula.

Many clubs want to do consequential deals this summer, like Real Madrid who have acquired Eden Hazard and who hope to do the same with Paul Pogba. But Griezmann’s decision seems to be clear, even if nothing is signed yet.

The newspaper claims that many intermediaries and people who were involved in getting negotiations with Barcelona going last summer but have been frozen out this time around are seeking to slow down the deal by asking for commission on the transfer, which cumulatively will be around €12m.

Griezmann wants a deal done as quickly as possible…


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