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Barcelona issue statement on Antoine Griezmann transfer

Barcelona have issued a statement in response to reports linking them to Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

Earlier today, Sport claimed the Catalans had struck a secret deal to sign France international Griezmann, 26, in summer.

However, in something of an unprecedented move, Barcelona swiftly issued a statement via their website, denying any such deal has been agreed.

It reads: "The FC Barcelona categorically denies the reports in the last hours in different media referring to Atletico Madrid Antoine Griezmann and alleged links to our club.

"FC Barcelona expresses its displeasure at these events and reiterates all its respect towards the institution of Atlético de Madrid."

Griezmann, who has a release clause of £889million (€100million) in his contract, has been strongly linked to both Barcelona and Manchester United.

It had been claimed that Barcelona’s new £142million signing Philippe Coutinho being assigned the number 14 shirt was a sign that Griezmann was set to join him at the Nou Camp because it left the number 7 shirt free.

Sport claimed Barcelona President Josep Mario Bartomeu, who has previously arranged deals with Atletico Chief Executive Gil Marín, held the cards in the deal.

According to their report, if Bartomeu decided he didn’t want Greizmann or the player decided to move elsewhere, he would inflict an undisclosed penalty charge on Atleti.

The front page of Sport this morning includes a side-note detailing Bartomeu’s unopposed power in a sub-heading that reads: “Bartomeu has the final word: The president, after the signings of Dembélé and Coutinho, has reserved himself the final OK."

Griezmann’s France team-mate Samuel Umtiti, who plays for Barcelona, has expressed his pleasure at any potential transfer for his fellow countryman, saying: “We’ve all already seen him at Atletico, he’s a top class player. If there are options, I will tell him without doubt to come to Barca.”

But Barcelona’s statement has thrown any potential move in serious doubt.

Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/barcelona-respond-claims-theyve-struck-11882612

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