Barcelona have completed the signing of Antoine Griezmann, after paying his €120-million release clause to Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish champions deposited the fee at La Liga's offices this morning to bring an end to a bitter transfer saga between the clubs.
Atletico's CEO Angel Gil Marin hit out at the Catalans last week, accusing Barca of showing disrespect to his club and threatened to discipline the player for not returning to pre-season training.
“Atletico Madrid wishes to express its strongest disapproval of the behaviour of both, especially FC Barcelona, for prompting the player to break his contractual relationship with Atletico Madrid.
“Atletico Madrid’s response was obviously negative, as we believe that FC Barcelona and the player have disrespected Atletico Madrid and all its fans,” the club said.
“As a consequence, today, Atletico Madrid has instructed the player, his sister and agent and his lawyer, that Antoine Griezmann, in compliance with his contractual obligations with our club, must appear next Sunday in the club’s facilities in order to start the pre-season with the rest of his teammates.”
L'Equipe claimed last night that Barcelona's preference to make the payment in installments and Atletico's desire for defender Nelson Semedo to be included in part-exchange had held up the negotiations.
Griezmann's former club Real Sociedad are set to net 24-million of the transfer fee and Barca are set to parade him at the Camp Nou this weekend.
The 28-year-old French attacker has signed on a five-year contract, and Barcelona have set his buy-out clause at €800-million.
"With his arrival at FC Barcelona, the Frenchman takes another step forward in his career with the goal of consolidating his place as one of the best players in the world," Barcelona said in a statement.
Griezmann joined Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and scored 133 goals in 256 appearances.
You were waiting for this. pic.twitter.com/vVR0Prmy0b
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 12, 2019