Report: Atletico Madrid to Offer Antoine Griezmann New Deal Amid Barcelona Links

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 11:  Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Celta de Vigo at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid will reportedly make one last attempt to convince Antoine Griezmann to remain at the club, by offering him a new contract amid interest from Barcelona.

According to the El Partidazo show on radio station Cadena Cope (h/t Sport), Los Rojiblancos will offer him a pay rise "even knowing that he could have already agreed to move to Barcelona." 

Griezmann extended his contract with Atleti last June after deciding to remain at the club amid their ban on registering new players over the 2017 summer transfer window, which would have prevented them from replacing him if he left.

The Frenchman has an agreement in the Spanish capital until 2022 containing a release clause of €100 million, and Barcelona are said to be keen admirers.

Per Goal, Atletico manager Diego Simeone is not paying attention to the speculation over his future:

In private, the club will likely be well aware of the rumours and their implication, though.

Griezmann's decision to stay as the club transitioned to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium showed his affection for and loyalty to the club, but earlier in the season, it looked as if it may have been a mistake, as he struggled for form.

However, the striker's recent play has been superb, and he has now racked up 21 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season.

He grabbed one apiece as Atleti beat Celta Vigo 3-0 on Sunday, earning praise from football writer Ryan Baldi:

The forward's form was aided by the arrival of Diego Costa. The pair have dovetailed superbly since Costa was registered in January, per football journalist David Cartlidge and Squawka's Muhammad Butt:

It's of no surprise Atletico are keen for that partnership to continue to flourish, though Costa's presence would also make Griezmann's departure somewhat more palatable as they'd still have a reliable goalscorer in the side.

If Griezmann does move to Barcelona, the Catalan giants will hope he can similarly thrive alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, which would make for a potent attacking lineup.  

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