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Barcelona and Atlético reach a deal that keeps Griezmann at the Wanda Metropolitano

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By Martin Graham | 11th Oct 2022

Atlético Madrid has finally agreed on a deal with Barcelona that keeps Antoine Griezmann permanently at the club. The France international was not seeing many minutes due to Atlético unwilling to pay the agreed fee.

Barcelona have been looking to offload several players and reduce their wage bill. The Catalan giants also need funds to put it on steady footing. During the summer, Barcelona had to activate several leers to allow them to buy and register players for the season. The activated levers included selling part of their assets for several years.

Barcelona also tried to get some of their high earners to agree to a wage reduction with little success. Some of their players also refused to leave the club, forcing them to find ways to register the players.

Manchester United and Juventus were interested in the services of De Jong and Depay, but in the end, both Dutchmen remained at the club. Barcelona were successful in offloading Antoine Griezmann. Following the back and forth with Atletico Madrid over fees for the player, both clubs have finally come to an agreement that will see Griezmann stay at the Wanda Metropolitano permanently.

Barcelona and Atletico agree on a fee for Griezmann

Atletico Madrid had been reluctant to pay the fees Barcelona demanded for the services of Antoine Griezmann. There was an agreement between both sides, but Atletico employed underarm tactics to avoid paying the figure. The case was bound for court, but Barcelona opted to settle the issue without resorting to the law.

Atlético Madrid finally agreed with the Catalan giants on Monday to take Antoine Griezmann on a permanent deal. The agreement frees the France international to play more minutes for the Colchoneros. The initial deal ensured that Atlético had to pay a certain fee to Barcelona if Griezmann played several minutes.

Griezmann was in the final year of his two-year loan from Barcelona after signing a contract with the club till 2026. Barcelona report that the agreement with Atlético Madrid will see them receive 20 million euros ($19.4 million) for the transfer, plus variables that could reach another 4 million euros ($3.8 million).

The dispute

With the World Cup approaching, Antoine Griezmann was desperate to see more minutes to be in top shape for the World Cup. The contractual dispute between Atlético and Barcelona limited the 31-year-old forward from seeing regular game time. The initial deal would have seen Atlético paying Barcelona 40 million euros ($38.8 million) if Griezmann surpassed a certain number of minutes.

Atlético coach Diego Simeone preferred to use Griezmann as a substitute, and he usually introduced him after the 60-minute mark in most matches this season.

Griezmann has scored three goals this term. One of the goals was a vital late winner against Porto in the Champions League. The France international also has two assists so far.

Griezmann said he was happy to be where he wanted to be. He posted his feelings on Twitter, where he thanked everyone.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said it was vital to agree on a deal with Atlético because it keeps them from having to pay the high salary of the Frenchman if he returned from the loan. Barcelona needed to lower the wages of its players. They had to meet the strict financial fair play rules laid down by the Spanish league.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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