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Atletico Madrid AGAIN brought Griezmann on at 60 minutes despite lawsuit threat from Barcelona

George Nash

| Last updated 

Atletico Madrid AGAIN brought Griezmann on at 60 minutes despite lawsuit threat from Barcelona

Antoine Griezmann featured once again for Atletico Madrid despite the threat of a lawsuit from parent club Barcelona.

Griezmann moved back to Atleti in the summer of 2021, re-joining Diego Simeone’s team on a two-year loan deal which would likely become a €40m permanent transfer.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

However, a clause in the loan agreement means that the Madrid Club will only have to pay that figure if the Frenchman is involved in half of the team’s games, and plays at least 45-minutes which does not include any stoppage or extra time. 

And Barcelona are worried that the Atletico boss has been told not to play Griezmann this season to avoid paying the transfer fee.

So far in La Liga this season, the 31-year-old striker, who was a vital member of Atletico’s squad last term, has featured for 28, 28, 26 and 27 minutes, each time being brought on around the hour mark.

It was the same story in the Spanish club’s Champions League opener at home to Porto on Wednesday evening.

Griezmann was substituted on in the 61st minute with the scores level at 0-0. A red card for Porto’s Medhi Taremi, plus an injury led to nine minutes of second-half stoppage time being played, during which Mario Hermoso put the hosts in front only for Mateus Uribe to level from the penalty spot on 96-minutes.

Five minutes later, just as it seemed the sides would share the points, Griezmann popped up at the back post from a corner to nod in his team’s winner. 

Simeone then opted for the same strategy during his team’s 4-1 victory over Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.

Griezmann once again featured for less than half an hour as goals from Angel Correa, Rodrigo De Paul, Yannick Carrasco and an own goal ensured the three points for the 2020/21 champions.

But, according to SPORT, Barcelona have already told Atletico they believe they're already owed the money for Griezmann’s transfer.

That’s because France’s third leading goalscorer played 80% of games last year and the Catalan giants claim the loan deal was only for one year, with the second year only coming into effect if he played 50% of games.

Barca therefore believe that it doesn't matter how long Griezmann plays for in each game, Atleti already owe them the €40 million.

The report says that Barca president Joan Laporta and his legal team are preparing a lawsuit should their rivals fail to pay them for the permanent move, which could prove to be an issue for the Madrid club.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Five Atleti first team players were asked to take pay cuts this summer in order to improve the club’s finances, and that's exactly why they're trying to avoid paying for Griezmann.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Atletico Madrid, Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona, Diego Simeone

George Nash
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