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Off The Crossbar: Atletico Madrid has a tactic to avoid buying Antoine Griezmann from FC Barcelona

Foul play or smart move?

Atletico Madrid v FC Porto: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Where will Griezmann be at the end of all of this?
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

There’s always gonna be turmoil involving FC Barcelona, wasn’t it? Now, you might be wondering, “What the hell have they done now?” Well, the Catalans are currently doing a “you can have him” duel with fellow La Liga club Atletico Madrid. Now, though, things are getting spicy as Barca are preparing to file a lawsuit against the cross-city rivals of perennial rivals Real Madrid. Their dispute stems from Antoine Griezmann, who is a Barcelona player on loan at Atletico.

Sport1 reports that Griezmann’s contract with the Colchoneros has a clause that says if Griezmann plays 45 minutes in 50% of games, then the Madrid club must sign him from Barcelona for €40 million.

Atletico Madrid v FC Porto: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Simeone has done well so far to steer clear of paying Barcelona 40 million euros
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

To get around this, Atleti coach Diego Simeone has brought on Griezmann on the 60th minute of every game to avoid the clause going into effect and so as not to waste Griezmann’s time and abilities. When asked about whether subbing Griezmann on at the same point in every game was intentional, Simeone answered: “I am a man of the club and always will be.”

Barca, however, believe that the clause has been fulfilled and makes the Frenchman eligible for a transfer to Atleti.

There’s more confusion here, as Griezmann played 39 games in his first season at Atleti and played over 45 minutes in most of those games. The clause says that only the first season counts for the purchase option, but Atleti insisted on spreading out the playing time across two seasons (it’s a two-year loan deal). This is definitely not the end of the story because like I said, things will get juicier from here on out.

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