Atlético hit back at Barcelona and Griezmann for "lacking respect"
In the strongly worded statement, Atlético criticise Barcelona and their own player Antoine Griezmann for how they have handled the Frenchman's potential move to the Spanish champions. Furthermore, they demand that their player turns up to preseason training this Sunday 7th July.
"On 14th May Antoine Griezmann informed Miguel Angel Gil, Diego Pablo Simeone and Andrea Berta of his decision to leave the club at the end of the season. In the days following that meeting, Atlético Madrid learned that FC Barcelona and the player had reached an agreement last March, specifically in the days following the return match of our Champions League knockout match against Juventus, as well as that they had been negotiating the terms of the agreement since mid-February", the statement read.
'Los Colchoneros' then confirmed that their representative Miguel Ángel Marín had met with Barcelona's CEO Óscar Grau on Thursday. They went on to suggest that Barcelona had called the meeting to request a delay in the payment of Griezmann's 120 million Euro release clause - something that Atlético quickly rejected.
"In reference to President Bartomeu's statement made today [Friday 5th], we want to state that it is true that yesterday [Thursday 4th] there was a meeting between Miguel Angel Gil and the CEO of Barcelona Football Club, Oscar Grau, at the request of Barcelona and that in that meeting, Mr Grau stated his intention, once the release clause in Antoine Griezmann's contract had been amended from EUR 200 million to EUR 120 million, to request a postponement in the payment of the aforementioned amount of the clause in force from 1st July. Obviously Atletico Madrid's response was negative, understanding both FC Barcelona and the player have lacked respect towards Atletico Madrid and all our fans," say Atlético.
"As a consequence of all this, this Friday Atlético Madrid have asked the player, asked his sister as the agent of the footballer and his lawyer, that Antoine Griezmann, in fulfillment of his contractual obligations with our club, appears next Sunday at the club's facilities in order to begin the preseason with the rest of his teammates", continue the club.
"Through this statement, Atlético Madrid want to express their strongest condemnation for the behaviour of both, especially FC Barcelona, for having provoked the player to break his contractual relationship with Atlético Madrid at a time of the season when the club was competing, not just the in the Champions League knockout rounds against Juventus, but for the La Liga title against the aforementioned Barcelona, something that we consider violates the protected periods of negotiation with players and alters the basic rules governing the integrity of any sporting competition, as well as causing enormous damage to our club and its millions of fans," Atlético conclude by saying, as they hint at reporting Barça's dealings with Griezmann to FIFA.