Report: Atletico to Offer Antoine Griezmann New Contract Amid Barcelona Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid in action during the UEFA Europa League 2017-18 semi-finals (2nd leg) match between Atletico de Madrid and Arsenal FC at Wanda Metropolitano on May 03 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to offer Antoine Griezmann a new contract worth €20 million a year in an attempt to keep him at the club this summer amid continued links to Barcelona.

Journalist Manolo Lama told Cadena Cope's Tiempo de Juego (h/t AS) that despite the speculation surrounding the France international, the Madrid giants have yet to give up on keeping their star man around for the 2018-19 campaign.

"Atletico have come back with a new offer for Griezmann this week, an offer which exceeds the original one of €20 million," he said.

On the same programme, Antonio Ruiz, another journalist, said the deal taking Griezmann to the Camp Nou has "been agreed with Barcelona since October and it will be announced once the league ends."

As noted by AS, while the rumours have intensified in the final few weeks of the season, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has continued to say "Griezmann is an Atletico player."

Despite the recent furore about the player's position, as relayed by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, the Atletico star is enjoying one of the best spells of his career:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Griezmann playing better at moment than when he was on Ballon D'Or podium I reckons... and if France do win the World Cup...

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The Madrid outfit have recovered well after a slow start to the campaign and find themselves in the UEFA Europa League final against Marseille. Griezmann's form has been central to that run and the team being second in La Liga with one game left of the season.

Since he arrived at Atletico in the summer of 2014 the former Real Sociedad man has gone from strength to strength. Now he's one of the best attackers in the game.

What's made Griezmann's rise all the more impressive is his ability to score and create regularly in what is a defensively-minded setup under manager Diego Simeone.

There's so much pressure on him to make tangible contributions in the final third, and as noted by the Europa League Twitter account, he's done so regularly:

UEFA Europa League @EuropaLeague

Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 42 goals in 47 matches for Atlético this season (27 goals, 15 assists). 🔥🔥🔥 #UELfinal https://t.co/xOLZZr7f9L

Numbers like that have been delivered consistently by Griezmann throughout his time at Atletico, and it makes interest from Barcelona understandable.

It's not completely clear where the Atletico man would fit in at the Camp Nou, as they already have attackers in abundance. Getting Griezmann into an XI with Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi would be a challenge.

However, given Messi and Suarez are 30 and 31, respectively, it would be wise for the club to plan for the future.

As noted by Nic English, Barca struggled on Sunday without the former in a 5-4 loss at Levante:

Nic English @nicwenglish

Obvious wind-ups aside - Messi has played at least 45 games a season since 08/09. Unfortunately that won't last forever... https://t.co/nr0E5teGBS

After four years at Atletico, Griezmann may see this summer as the right time to move on, especially if the club can win the Europa League.

While Atletico have regularly challenged for major honours, they've yet to win silverware while the Frenchman has been at the club. Having grown as a player in the Spanish capital, Griezmann will want to start winning prizes as he approaches the peak years of his career.  

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