Tuesday 18 June 2019

Antoine Griezmann expected to stay in Spain as he confirms he is leaving Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid (Nick Potts/PA)
Antoine Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid (Nick Potts/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he intends to leave Atletico Madrid this summer, but Premier League clubs chasing his signature face a battle to sign the France World Cup winner.

After Griezmann came close to signing for Manchester United last summer, Old Trafford chiefs may be tempted to make a fresh offer to sign the striker who has a release clause of around €104m in his current contract.

Yet Griezmann is widely expected to sign for Atletico's La Liga rivals Barcelona, after he confirmed his intentions to leave in a video statement.

"It has been five incredible years, thank you very much for everything, I carry you in my heart," he stated.

"After speaking with Cholo (coach Diego Simeone), then with Miguel Angel (chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin) and the people in the hierarchy of the club I wanted to speak with you, the fans, who have always given me a lot of love.

"To tell you I have taken the decision to leave. To see other things, to have other challenges.

"The truth is it has been difficult to take this route, but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years."

Griezmann left Real Sociedad for Atletico in July 2014 and has scored 94 goals in 179 LaLiga games and a further 21 in 48 in the Champions League. He has won the Europa League, the Spanish Super Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during his time at Atletico and has been the team's top scorer in each of the last five seasons.

At the age of 28, he is primed for a career defining move and it appears that he will link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to create a powerful strike force at the Nou Camp next season.

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