Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has dismissed reports that an agreement over Antoine Griezmann’s future at the club is close to being found.
Griezmann is in the second year of a two-season loan deal from Barcelona which includes an obligation for Atleti to sign him permanently for €40m if he plays a certain number of minutes – something Diego Simeone is trying to avoid by bringing the Frenchman off the bench for just 30 minutes every game.
Atletico are understood to be big fans of Griezmann but are unable to afford the €40m fee, whereas Barcelona are desperate to offload him permanently and have even argued that he has already triggered the obligation to buy.
With all this going on, a report from France claimed that the two clubs had spoken about the situation and were close to an agreement to drop the fee from €40m to €25m, but Cerezo has rubbished the speculation.
“Neither have we met with Barca nor do we have news that we are going to meet,” he said. “I think the Griezmann issue is very clear and you all know it. Until everything is completely solved, if there is something to solve, we are at the same point.
“If an agreement is to be reached, it will be reached, but I want to tell you now that there is absolutely nothing. It is the same as the beginning of the season.”
Atletico believe that their obligation to sign Griezmann permanently will only be triggered if he plays 50% of all minutes available to him this season, and so Simeone has restricted him to just 30 minutes in nearly every game he has played this year to ensure he falls short of that figure.
On the other hand, reports have claimed that Barcelona believe the obligation has already been triggered as the contract referred to 50% of minutes in either season, rather than solely the second.
Griezmann has chalked up three goals in his six games this season, finding the back of the net every 55 minutes on average.