UPDATES WITH ATLETICO MADRID'S STATEMENT
By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) - Spain's Barcelona signed French star Antoine Griezmann from their La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid on Friday.
"You were waiting for this. Griezmann, It's magnificent!," Barcelona said in a video on Twitter to announce their forward's arrival. The club posted Griezmann's photo wearing Barcelona's traditional home jersey as well.
"Barcelona has paid the €120 million ($134.9 million) buyout clause to release Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid," Barcelona said on its website.
"The player will sign a contract with his new club for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024, with a buyout clause of 800 million euros," Barcelona said, while Atletico Madrid claimed that Barcelona have not paid his full release clause.
"Antoine Griezmann, represented by his lawyer, has appeared at the headquarters of the Professional Football League to unilaterally terminate the contract that links the player with Atletico de Madrid, with FC Barcelona having deposited the sum of €120 million in the name and on behalf of the footballer," Atletico Madrid said in a statement.
Barcelona have not paid a sufficient transfer fee for Griezmann, Atletico Madrid claimed.
"Atletico de Madrid considers that the deposited amount is insufficient to cover his buyout clause, since it is obvious that the agreement between the player and FC Barcelona was closed before the clause was reduced from €200 million to €120 million. It was also prior to the date on which the clause was modified the communication that the player made on May 14 announcing his disassociation from the club," it said.
"Atletico de Madrid believes that the termination of the contract happened before the end of the last season due to facts, acts and demonstrations made by the player, and therefore has already initiated the procedures it has deemed appropriate to protect their rights and lawful interests," the club added.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, Griezmann, 28, scored 185 goals in 459 club appearances.
Before joining Atletico Madrid in July 2014, Griezmann had played for another Spanish club, Real Sociedad.
Griezmann has 72 international appearances for France, scoring 29 goals for "Les Bleus" (The Blues) since March 2014.