Antoine Griezmann has announced his intention to leave Atletico Madrid this summer. He made this known to the Spanish club, making a move to Barcelona for €125m (£108m) a possibility.
The Frenchman only signed a five-year contract extension last summer but made the shocking revelation to quit the club via Atletico Madrid’s official social media accounts after holding talks with Diego Simeone and chief executive, Miguel.
Relating to fans of the Spanish giants, Griezmann said:
“I wanted to tell you that I’ve made the decision to leave to experience new things and have new challenges. It’s been very hard for me to take this path, but I feel that it’s what I need.
“I wanted to thank you for all the love you’ve given me in these five years, in which I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. They were incredible moments that I will always remember. The truth is you’re in my heart.”
The Frenchman has remained a long term target for Barcelona with the Blaugranas close to signing him after the 2018 World Cup but Griezmann opted to remain at the Wanda Metropolitano as he made known via a TV documentary called The Decision.
Barcelona are understood to be ready to pay his release clause of €125m (£108m).
In his message, Griezmann thanked the fans of the club and suggested that it was out of respect for these fans that he was making this known to them before all others save for the head coach and he club.
“It isn’t easy for a player to receive so much love,” “That’s why I wanted to tell you today so that you’re the first to know after the [head] coach and the club. I’ve given my all on the pitch, I’ve tried to behave well. Thank you so much, and goodbye.”