Antoine Griezmann Completes Barcelona Transfer from Atletico Madrid

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 18: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid warms up 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

Antoine Griezmann completed his transfer from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona on Friday, penning a five-year contract at the Camp Nou that includes an €800 million (£717 million) buyout fee. 

News the deal had finally gone through came via Barcelona's official Twitter account:

In Barcelona's official statement, the club confirmed paying the Frenchman's €120 million (£107 million) buyout fee.

Per Jason Burt of The Telegraph, the release clause in Griezmann's Barcelona contract is even higher than Lionel Messi's, which is set at €700 million. 

Speculation about Griezmann's future has filled gossip columns for the last couple of years, so the player will be pleased he can finally focus on on-field matters. 

In the summer of 2018, Barcelona were linked with the forward, although he eventually made the choice to stay at Atletico and penned a new contract. However, a year on, the former Real Sociedad man confirmed he would be on the move ahead of the 2019-20 season.

His departure is a big blow for Atletico. Griezmann has been a consistent goalscorer in his years at the club:

He inspired the team to UEFA Europa League glory in 2018 before excelling on international duty with France, helping his nation win that year's FIFA World Cup. 

Barcelona have landed one of the best attacking players in the game. At Atletico, Griezmann evolved into a striker who could do it all—he was a regular goalscorer, a creator of chances and someone who would set the tone for the team in terms of work rate at the point of the attack.

Even with Griezmann joining Frenkie de Jong as a big-money summer signing for Barcelona, the spending may not be over yet for Ernesto Valverde. According to Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden of ESPN FC, there's hope a deal can be completed to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Rafael Hernandez of Barcelona fansite Grup 14 thinks the club will have to shift a big name out the door first:

Nevertheless, Griezmann should be a fine acquisition for the Blaugrana, and he will provide some much-needed depth in attack.

While Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were outstanding throughout the 2018-19 season, Barcelona would have preferred another option in attack to give both players chances to rest throughout the season. With Philippe Coutinho short of form and Ousmane Dembele frequently injured, that wasn't always available.

In Griezmann, they have a high-class alternative and someone who can fulfil a number of different roles in an attacking setup. Should he link well with Suarez and Messi, Barcelona will be almost impossible to stop.  

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