Atletico Madrid supporters may have endangered Antoine Griezmann's future after reports the striker had pledged his future to the club—before a section of fans jeered him in Sunday's clash with Eibar.
Alberto R. Barbero of Marca wrote Griezmann had told the club hours before Sunday's match that he will remain at the Wanda Metropolitano, but his future is again in the air after he was whistled after coming on as a substitute in the 2-2 draw.
Griezmann has been closely linked with Barcelona, urging some portions of the Atleti support to show the Frenchman their disdain. It was only after Diego Godin intervened that the fans stopped booing their star forward.
A dressing room source was quoted by Barbero and said of Griezmann after the match: "He doesn't want to hear from anyone."
Griezmann and the club wanted to devote the spotlight to Atletico Madrid legend Fernando Torres—who started the match in his place—as he made his last appearance for the club.
Los Rojiblancos manager Diego Simeone gave his account of what unfolded after the match, insisting those who offer Griezmann their support far outweigh those who express any ill will, via Goal:
The timing seems critical, too, as reports have since indicated Griezmann has agreed his transfer to the Camp Nou. Sport reported he'll sign a five-year deal worth £13 million per year, while AS said Lionel Messi's personal encouragement to the forward was key in getting the deal over the line (h/t Metro).
Messi spoke after Barcelona's season ended with a 1-0 win over Griezmann's former club Real Sociedad and said of the Blaugrana target, per Metro: "He’s one of the best players right now, I do not know if there’s anything, but we’re delighted that the best come and Griezmann is one of them."
Metro also detailed that Griezmann's €100 million (£87 million) release clause comes into effect as of July 1, after which it will just be a question of whether Barcelona are willing to pay all the necessary fees.
One might wonder how Atleti's coveted attacker would fit into a forward line that just blazed a trail to another La Liga crown and the Copa del Rey, but Anfield HQ's Oliver Bond sourced Spanish expert Guillem Balague, who reported one method:
Atletico's fans have endured a long transfer saga in relation to Griezmann's Barca links, and while it's understandable they want to keep their star, the aggression of a few could have an impact on the many.
It remains to be seen whether Sunday's protest against the player will be enough to reverse his decision to remain in Madrid, as Griezmann's good intentions ultimately turned into a glum end to his club season.