Atletico Madrid chief Gil Marin has confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will leave the club this summer to join Barcelona.
As quoted by Spanish publication Sport, Gil Martin has confirmed the inevitable in an interview with Radio Estadio. The Atletico Madrid CEO has revealed that Antoine Griezmann will join Barcelona in this summer’s transfer window, iterating that he has known the same since March.
Antoine Griezmann has gone from being a superstar in the making when he joined Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2014 to establishing himself as one of the very best in the game in the five years he has been in the Spanish capital.
A prolific customer in front of goal, the 28-year-old has netted 133 goals in 257 appearances for Los Rojiblancos in addition to providing 50 assists. And last year, he reached the pinnacle of his career on international level, winning the World Cup with France. Needless to say, his performances have attracted many suitors, with Barcelona dominating the recent links.
Barcelona had been keen on signing Griezmann last summer as well before the Atletico Madrid star announced his decision to stay put at Wanda Metropolitano through an infamous documentary. But, the Blaugrana have been interested in signing the Frenchman once again this summer, and understandably so.
Barcelona do boast of a fearsome attacking unit on paper. But, a closer look would reveal a big problem. While Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were among the goals this past season, none of their other partners in the final third managed to deliver on a consistent basis.
Philippe Coutinho, who is Barcelona’s record signing, was so out of form over the course of the season that one might even consider him to be a liability. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele was struck by a barrage of injuries for a second successive season and Malcom did not quite enjoy the confidence of Ernesto Valverde.
It is thus, quite imperative that Barcelona addressed the problem by adding a top class attacker to the squad. To that end, Griezmann emerged as a viable target who could reprise different roles in the final third.
His presence could also help Valverde rotate Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi better, with the former especially suffering from a lack of a backup in recent seasons. And, Barcelona’s hopes of signing Griezmann had further been boosted following his comments wherein he had confirmed that he would be leaving Atletico Madrid this summer.
In recent weeks though, there had been very little developments over the move, which had seen the links with Manchester United re-emerge. But, Atletico Madrid CEO Gil Marin has now put an end to those rumours, insisting that he will join Barcelona this summer.
Speaking to Radio Estadio (h/t Sport), Marin said, “I know exactly where he’s going to play. I’ve known since march. In Barcelona. There are players who feel they are greater than the squad, we have to form a group of men.”
The comments by Marin all but confirm that Griezmann will be leaving Atletico Madrid to join Barcelona this summer. All that now remains is for the move to be officially completed and it remains to be seen how long it takes for the inevitable to be confirmed.