Barcelona coach Valverde defends Bartomeu over Griezmann transfer comments

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Suarez, talking as if the deal was already done, said that Griezmann will be "welcome" at Barca and Bartomeu confirmed that he met with the Atletico player's agent last October.

The Atletico Madrid hitman has been continually linked with a move to Barcelona, who are supposedly prepared to meet his £88million buy-out clause.

Could Antoine Griezmann depart for Barcelona in the summer?

"I can tell you one thing: Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player as of today", Cerezo said. "Our relationship with Atletico and (their president, Enrique) Cerezo is strong, we discuss a lot of issues".

"The other day, with 10 men, we made a great physical effort".

Griezmann, who is represented by his sister Maud, said in March that he wants to have his future fully sorted before the World Cup begins in Russian Federation in mid-June, to avoid a repeat of last summer's long flirtation with Manchester United, which eventually ended with him securing a big pay-rise from his current club with a new one-year contract extension. However, he says the Catalan side have no interest in bringing him back as they maintain confidence that big signing Ousmane Dembele will come good despite recent struggles and links to Liverpool.

"We're fed up with Barcelona's attitude", a statement on Atletico's official website read. "You can not talk about players who play at other clubs".

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The Atletico CEO said the club's stance was very clear.

"We've been competing for the title and Barcelona have been continuously pressuring one of the most important players in our squad".

"He's a great player, I have no doubt about that".

Gil Marin also suggested he may take action over the perceived "inappropriate" approach.

I also told him in that moment, that in the chance the player exercised his right to nullify his contract due to their pressure throughout the season that Atlético de Madrid would demand Barcelona compensation for their inappropriate behaviour. "I bumped into Griezmann when I was on holiday past year and we held a meeting with his agent last October".

"Enough is enough. I hope this statement serves its goal and that us Atletico fans can enjoy this moment and prepare ourselves for a final like we should".

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