Antoine Griezmann Committed to Barcelona Amid Atletico Madrid Contract Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 11:  Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid warms up prior to 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

Antoine Griezmann is reportedly committed to joining Barcelona in the summer, despite efforts from Atletico Madrid to tie him down on a new contract. 

According to Le 10 Sport (h/t AS), the Frenchman has rejected the advances of Atleti to improve his current terms and increase his €100 million release clause because he has had a deal in place with the Blaugrana since the autumn, an initial agreement that has since been "firmed up."

It is believed he will take the No. 7 shirt at the Camp Nou, as the number has been vacant since Arda Turan moved on loan to Istanbul Basaksehir in January.

Griezmann's form was poor during the first half of the campaign, but he has turned things around of late and returned to his best, per Squawka Football:

His contributions now stand at 21 goals in all competitions, as well as 12 assists, and his partnership with Diego Costa is proving fruitful.

Along with his ability to create and take chances, it's likely the forward's impressive work ethic has also attracted Barcelona.

The Guardian's Sid Lowe is impressed with the work rate of Griezmann:

That could make him a comfortable fit in Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona, who provide more function than flair when compared with previous iterations of the Catalan giants.

Atletico captain Gabi seemingly expects Griezmann to move on this summer, per Reuters' Richard Martin:

The striker was expected to leave last year, and likely would have if Los Rojiblancos had not been banned from registering new players in the summer.

Despite his revival alongside Costa, it now feels like the right time for Griezmann to move on—he'll be 27 on March 21 and after four prolific seasons with Atletico, he can head for a new challenge while at the peak of his powers.

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