Barcelona refute claims of Griezmann agreement

Reports claim Barcelona have struck a deal with Antoine Griezmann for a transfer later this year, but the club strenuously denies this.

Atletico Madrid is said to be lining up a replacement for the Frenchman should he agree terms with a club.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid Antoine Griezmann vies with Barcelona's Paulinho   -  Getty Images

Barcelona have categorically denied media reports claiming they have already reached an agreement with Antoine Griezmann behind the backs of Atletico Madrid ahead of an end-of-season transfer.

News broke in the Catalan media early on Saturday that Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu had carried out negotiations with Griezmann's representatives and secured his signature for a move before the 2018-19 season.

It was claimed that a clause had been put in place meaning that if either party pulled out of the deal at a later date, the guilty party would be punished financially, with Manchester United still rumoured to be interested in the Frenchman.

The report stressed that Barca were still yet to come to an agreement with Atletico, with the Catalans hoping to bring down the asking price, which is in line with Griezmann's €100million release clause.

But Barca have moved quickly to distance themselves from these claims, a stance perhaps influenced by Atletico reporting them to FIFA in December over their pursuit of Griezmann.

A club statement read: "FC Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atletico Madrid player Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club.

"FC Barcelona expresses its objections in the face of these events and reiterates its full respect for the institution of Atletico Madrid."

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