Barcelona Reach ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ Over French Striker as Atleti Table New Contract

Catalan giants Barcelona have agreed not to make a move for Atlético Madrid star Antoine Griezmann unless the French forward puts in a transfer request.

The 27-year-old attacker is widely regarded as one of the best players in Europe and Griezmann has been heavily linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano this summer.

Although it was understood that Manchester United were in pole position to sign the France international, Barcelona have since taken the lead in the race for his signature.

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But rather than going all out to try and sign Griezmann as soon as possible, Barcelona are eager to keep their good relationship with Atlético intact and have agreed to take a ‘hands-off’ approach until the striker decides on his future, according to AS.

It is also understood that Los Colchoneros have offered Griezmann a new contract which will see a dramatic increase in his €100m buyout clause in the Spanish capital.

Griezmann has already revealed that a decision about his future will be made before the World Cup this summer, where France will take on Australia, Denmark and Peru in the group stages.

Whether I stay at Atlético or not, the decision has to be taken before I go to the World Cup,” Griezmann said at Les Bleus’ training camp in Paris. 

(You may also like ?Antoine Griezmann Admits it Would Be ‘Beautiful’ to Play With Paul Pogba Every Day – With One Caveat)

“I want to go to Russia without anything on my mind. I’m fine, I want to win trophies and I think I can do that in my team. And I also have a lot to learn from [Diego] Simeone.”

Griezmann would have the opportunity to link up with compatriots Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembélé if he secures a move to the Camp Nou, although the Frenchman still hasn’t ruled out a move away from La Liga this summer.

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Man Utd Closing in on Samuel Umtiti as Barcelona Refuse to Meet Defender’s Huge Salary Demands

?Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, with reports in Catalonia suggesting the Camp Nou hierarchy are unwilling to meet the defender’s demands. 

The 24-year-old has become a crucial aspect of Ernesto Valverde’s outfit, partnering up with Gerard Pique to create a formidable defensive line which has conceded just 13 goals in 29 LaLiga clashes this season. 

However, according to ?SPORT, the France international is insistent he deserves a significant pay rise in appreciation of his contribution, but the Barca board cannot justify the increase. 

The report claims that Umtiti wants parity with the likes of Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, and believes he should be the second highest earner at Barcelona behind Lionel Messi. 

And due to the Camp Nou chiefs’ unwillingness to bow to the centre back’s demands, Manchester United are ready to step in and cater to his desires. 

The Cameroon-born Frenchman, as is by Spanish football law, has a release clause built into his contract at Barca, with the fee set at a reasonable £52m. 

The Red Devils are willing to match that magic figure this summer and will offer Umtiti £175,000-a-week to sweeten the deal. 

The LaLiga giants are said to be plotting a way to reach a new agreement with their defender, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and co. keen to increase the player’s buyout clause. 

However, should the Old Trafford contingent’s lucrative offer be tabled at the conclusion of this season, the Barcelona hierarchy may have no way of counteracting the Premier League side’s bid other than bowing to his current demands. 

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Jordi Alba Admits Finding Another Lionel Messi Will Be ‘Very Complicated’ for Barcelon

?Barcelona left back Jordi Alba has paid homage to the talent of his teammate Lionel Messi, claiming that finding another player comparable to the legendary Argentine will prove very difficult.

Messi has enjoyed an illustrious career with both club and country, breaking countless records and earning endless accolades since bursting on to the scene as a 17-year-old at Barcelona.

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The 30-year-old has firmly written himself in the record books as one of the greatest to play the game, with five Ballons d’Or, four Champions League winner’s medals and eight La Liga titles to his vast and growing collection.

Messi is enjoying a typically fine season this year, contributing to an astounding 51 Barcelona goals (37 goals; 14 assists) in just 43 appearances, suggesting that there is still more to come from the Argentinian, despite not having youth on his side anymore.

With both Alba and Messi on international duty with Spain and Argentina respectively, the defender has conceded that he misses the attacker’s presence and their on-field relationship whilst playing for their countries.

Reported by ?Goal, Alba said: “Finding another Leo is very complicated. There are great players here with whom I also understand perfectly, but above all we will have to wait and see how the coach wants to play.”

Alba was not finished there, using the platform to acknowledge another one of his teammates also holding legend status, Andres Iniesta.

Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga

Iniesta is now 33 years old and there are rumours that he will be swapping the Nou Camp for China come the end of the season, but there is still no denying the talent of the Spaniard, demonstrated in a trademark assist to Rodrigo for the opener in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Germany on Friday.

“He is a special player and the only one of his kind at Barcelona,” Alba continued.

“I have enjoyed playing with him since 2012 and he is a vital player for us, both in the national team and at Barcelona.

(You May Also Be Interested In, ‘?The Statistics That Show Just How Truly Indestructible Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo Actually Are’)

“He is having a magnificent season and we are better on the pitch with him. We must make sure he is healthy as he is vital to helping us win titles here and with Barcelona.”


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Patrick Kluivert Urges Son Justin to Snub Man Utd in Favour of Barcelona Move Later Down the Line

?Justin Kluivert’s legendary father Patrick has advised his son that he should reject any advances by Manchester United this summer in favour of a continued stay at Ajax, before eventually moving to Barcelona.

The 18-year-old is arguably the hottest young talent in Holland and one of the brightest prospects around Europe period, and he has already been linked with a host of clubs despite his tender years.

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?The biggest link so far has been with the Red Devils, with Jose Mourinho reportedly a huge fan of the teen, but former Blaugrana striker Patrick believes that would be the wrong move for his talented son.

Speaking to Omnisport, as quoted by the Mail, the ex-Champions League winner said: “I’m very proud of him. He’s doing very good at Ajax. He’s now a first XI player. If he’s playing like this in the long-term, he could be one important player in the future.

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“Of course, I prefer that he goes to Barcelona but in football, everything can happen. He’s an adult, he can make his own decisions but he’s already said it’s a dream for him to play for Barcelona. But you never know in football.”

Kluivert Snr started out at Ajax just like Justin, and scored 52 goals in total for the Dutch giants. He moved to Barcelona following one season with AC Milan, and scored 122 for the Catalans, which may or not act as a target for young Justin to surpass one day.

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Report Claims Former Liverpool Star Philippe Coutinho Wants Reds Talisman to Join Him at Barcelona

?Former Liverpool superstar Philippe Coutinho wants Mohamed Salah to join him at Barcelona – as boldly claimed by Spanish publication ?Don Balon.

The Brazilian left Anfield in January to join Barca in a £142m transfer and since his departure, Salah has continued his incredible form for the club and has undoutedbly taken over Coutinho’s mantle.

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The Egyptian has plundered 28 league goals so far and appears to be unaffected by Coutinho leaving, and apparently the playmaker wants to link back up with Salah.

The former Chelsea and Roma forward, ?who has been linked with Real Madrid in recent weeks, is sure to be protected at all costs by Liverpool so they can avoid a repeat of the Coutinho saga.

He appears to very happy playing under Jurgen Klopp, and the German would not welcome any interest in him from Barca following their acquisition of Coutinho just three months ago. Then one has to factor in Ousmane Dembele’s return to the first team after injury derailed the first half of his season.

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The young Frenchman is back in the picture now and is surely another reason why Barca would not move for Salah.

Coutinho wants Salah to come to the Nou Camp, as does another former Red in Luis Suarez, but a more realistic signing this summer has to be Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

The 27-year-old could be after a change at the end of the season following the arrival of Diego Costa and is said to be willing to take a cut in his basic weekly wages to move.


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