Antoine Griezmann provides deadline for decision on future amid Barcelona links

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann last night provided a brief albeit significant update on his future, in revealing when he will have confirmed his plans for next season by.

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Saga

Manchester United’s chase of French forward Griezmann was one of the talking points of the early weeks of last summer’s transfer window, with Jose Mourinho having identified the 27-year-old as the ideal addition to his attacking ranks at Old Trafford.

However, any potential move was put on hold when Griezmann himself confirmed that he would not leave Atletico in the midst of their transfer ban, with the Red Devils having since opted to bring in Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez instead as a result.

Jose Mourinho recently confirmed that United will not be targeting attacking reinforcements this summer, with the Manchester giants set to focus their attentions on midfield and defensive additions.

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Release clause

This has led to mounting reports that Barcelona are now viewed as the clear leading contenders for Griezmann’s signature, with the Blaugrana having long been touted as a potential destination for the French international.

Griezmann’s 200 million Euro Atletico release clause reportedly drops to 100 million Euro this summer, making a potential deal for any and all suitors markedly more realistic.

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 03: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final second leg match between Atletico Madrid and Arsenal FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Done deal?

In additon, adding weight to the Griezmann to Barca rumours back in February was a report from journalist Albert Roge (later backed by the reliable Cat Radio), which ensured that a deal to send Atletico’s star man to the Camp Nou this summer was ‘100%’ certain:

‘It is closed, yes, although obviously neither of the two parties will confirm it. At Sport we have already been informed of the private agreement that exists between both and Griezmann will be Barca’s in the summer 100%.’

‘False’

However, when it was put to Griezmann himself during an interview with Telefoot last month that, according to their information, he was engaged in ‘advanced talks’ with Barcelona over a move to the club at the end of the season, the Frenchman sniped:

‘I don’t know where you get this information, but it is false.’

Talks confirmed

Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu, though, since confirmed for the first time that talks between the club and Griezmann’s entourage over a transfer had indeed taken place, during an interview with RAC1:

‘I saw Griezmann one day on holiday. We met with his agent, yes. It was in October.’

Conflicting reports

However, reports over the last couple of weeks have since widely varied regarding Griezmann’s will, with some outlets insistent that the Frenchman has in fact changed his mind with regards to making the move to the Camp Nou.

Others have claimed, though, that the hostile reception provided by Atletico’s fans for Griezmann during the club’s final home fixture of the season had pushed the Rojiblancos’ talisman further towards the Wanda Metropolitano exit door.

‘This week’

Whatever the case may be, Griezmann himself last night revealed when he plans to make his decision on his future public, with the Frenchman having confirmed his intention to make a definitive announcement before the commencement of his country’s World Cup campaign next Saturday:

‘It’s good that you’re taking an interest,’ Griezmann told reporters following France’s 1-1 draw with the USA last night.

‘There’s a week to go. I think we will find out (about my future) this week.’

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