Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona Have 'Never Spoken,' Says Josep Maria Bartomeu

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 18: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid looks on prior to the La Liga match between Levante UD and Club Atletico de Madrid at Ciutat de Valencia on May 18, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images

Barcelona have not made contact with Antoine Griezmann regarding a move this summer, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed.

Atletico Madrid CEO Gil Marin suggested a deal was already in place between Griezmann and Barca:

However, Bartomeu told RAC1 (h/t Marca): "We've always said it, we've never spoken to him, there's nothing. We're already seeing how the market is growing these days and weeks."

Griezmann has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, though football writer Jeremy Smith would prefer to see him at Barcelona:

The Frenchman bagged 21 goals and 10 assists for Atleti last season and announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the campaign.

Lionel Messi needs some help sharing the goalscoring and creative burden at the Camp Nou, and that's where Griezmann could come in.

Luis Suarez netted 25 times in all competitions last season, but at 32, he's beginning to decline. Likewise, Ousmane Dembele scored 14 goals, but at 22, he still has areas of his game to refine, and he's had a number of injury issues to deal with too.

Signing Griezmann is no small undertaking, though, as he's the most valuable player in La Liga outside Messi, according to the International Centre for Sports Studies:

According to AS' Jaime Candil, the 28-year-old's buyout clause will drop from €200 million to €120 million on July 1.

With that in mind, Barcelona are perhaps waiting until then to make a formal pursuit of the player.

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