Atletico Madrid President 'Disappointed' by Antoine Griezmann's Transfer Request

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 12: Antoine Griezmann of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between  Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at Wanda Metropolitano on May 12, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo is disappointed with Antoine Griezmann's decision to request a transfer. He also revealed he doesn't know where the France international will be moving amid strong links to Barcelona.

Cerezo spoke to Fox Sports and said he thought Griezmann was committed to Atletico prior to the player's announcement on Tuesday (h/t Goal's Dejan Kalinic):

"More than annoyed, I am disappointed. I thought that Antoine had a great future at Atletico, with big titles and big league wins. The problem is that everyone thinks in their own way. We respect his decision, I and Atletico fans. We wish him all the luck in the world. One goes and others will come.

"I don't know where he will play, ask him. He can play where he likes.

"This is a surprise, it's a disappointment. If I was his advisor I would have told him to stay here. It's a free life and everyone can do what they think is right."

Atletico shared this short video on Tuesday, in which the France international explained his decision:

Per Sam Wallace of the Telegraph, Griezmann's decision to leave comes just one year after the production of a documentary film called La Decision, in which he announced he would be staying with the Rojiblancos.

El Larguero (h/t The Spanish Football Podcast) reported the Frenchman was planning another documentary, prompting Atletico to demand he record the video released on Tuesday:

Wallace also pointed at his €120  million (£105  million) buyout clause and how all the signs indicate he will join Barcelona. He noted the Catalans don't have the finances needed to complete such a deal, however, and that they will have to sell players and likely have to persuade Atletico to accept a payment in instalments.

Ex-Barcelona President Joan Laporta has spoken out against the move, per Sport:

Griezmann joined Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and quickly established himself as one of the team's most crucial attacking pieces.

Per WhoScored.com, he's had a hand in more than 40 per cent of the team's goals since joining:

The 28-year-old has won the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup with the Rojiblancos, but Barcelona have dominated La Liga during his spell in the capital. Rivals Real Madrid have also won the UEFA Champions League three times in that span, twice knocking out Atletico in the process.

Atletico will face tremendous turnover this summer, as longtime defenders Diego Godin and Juanfran are among those also leaving the club, per Marca:

Griezmann's sale should add a significant chunk of money to their transfer budget, however, and Diego Simeone will likely have the means to transform his squad this summer.

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