Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed he met Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann’s agent last October, but stressed the La Liga winners should not talk about players who are currently at other clubs.
The France international has long been linked with a move to the Catalan club. Earlier in May, Catalunya Radio reported that Barcelona officials have already met with Griezmann’s sister, Maud, who has been representing him.
Bartomeu added that Barcelona met the former Real Sociedad star last summer, just like they meet other players. However, the Spanish champions’ president stressed that he did not have lunch and also urged not to speculate after his comments suggested that he met Griezmann’s agent in October 2017.
“Now is the time to analyse the season and start to prepare for the next one,” Bartomeu told radio station Rac1, as quoted by Sport.
“I saw Griezmann last summer. We met with him like we meet with other players, but we didn’t have lunch together. We shouldn’t talk about players who are at other clubs.
“We have a relationship with his agent like we do with other agents. It was last October, we had a meeting, but nothing more. You don’t have to start the speculation.”
Bartomeu also stressed that Barcelona share a very good relationship with Atletico officials. He admitted holding conversations with Rojiblancos president Enrique Cerezo and their chief executive Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, but suggested they never discussed Griezmann.
“We spoke to (Atletico president) Cerezo and (chief executive) Gil Marin about many things. We have a good relationship between the two clubs. But now is not the time to talk about that,” he added.
Griezmann has a release clause of €100m in his contract at the Spanish capital club. Atletico are hoping to hand the 27-year-old an improved deal that will see him earn better wages and also his release clause improve significantly, reports Catalunya Radio.
However, the player has not made a decision on his future. His immediate focus will be helping Atletico win the Europa League. They will face Marseille in the final at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on 16 May.
The Spanish media are once again excited about Griezmann moving to Barcelona and these comments from Bartomeu have helped fuel that.