Antoine Griezmann Caught Between Old And New Clubs

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann's current status seems to be borrowing from the title of the famous song by The Verve: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?"

For weeks, rumors have swirled that Griezmann was set to play for Barcelona, joining the La Liga leaders some time in the near future. There continues to be conflicting reports by various outlets around the world, all of which continue to connect the dots between Griezmann and Barca.

A few months ago, reports in the Spanish media emerged that Philippe Coutinho would not don the No. 7 jersey at Camp Nou, as it appeared that it was being withheld due to the imminent arrival of Griezmann.

Griezmann’s agent, as well as his sister (Maud Griezmann happens to double as his agent), was reported to have met with officials from Barca, which only helped to fuel the rumors of the Frenchman’s departure this summer. However, Barca leadership has denied making any such approach, and Atletico seems to want to keep Griezmann around. However, the latter doesn’t appear to be a realistic scenario, as all signs point to him joining the Spanish champions at some point this summer.

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Griezmann’s release clause stands at €100 million, which is actually considered to be a rather modest fee in today’s transfer market. However, the only wrinkle is that Barca would have to pay the entire amount up front, if they can’t come to an agreement with Atletico as far as potential installment payments for the transfer fee. There is also some concern that, if the relationship between the player and his current team becomes more acrimonious, Barca could raise the transfer fee to upwards of €140 million.

Not to be outdone themselves, amidst the reports of team Griezmann meeting with Barca officials, Atletico filed a complaint against the rival Spanish club, and then actually upped the counter-offer made to Griezmann to retain his services. The figure they threw at Griezmann is believed to be substantial enough to where they'd secure his financials for the foreseeable future, but it clearly wasn't enough to make Griezmann end his flirtation with Barca.

Some of Griezmann's teammates still believe there is an outside chance that he'll remain with Atletico. Diego Godin recently joked that Griezmann fashions himself an Uruguayan, and enjoys the company of so many teammates from the South American nation. Godin even commented how Griezmann eats and drinks in the same manner as his Uruguayan teammates, and even listens to Uruguayan music.

Now, it seems like this ordeal is destined to drag on a bit longer. Atletico said a soft deadline of April 30th for Griezmann to make his decision, which has not definitively been made as of yet. Instead, Griezmann has stated that he'd prefer to make his decision on this matter before the World Cup starts in June, though there's no guarantee any such decision will be made by that time, either.

But until Griezmann makes his decision official, Atletico will proceed with things like it's "business as usual," and continue to enjoy a successful season to date.