Tuesday night saw a rather expected bombshell hit Atlético Madrid: Antoine Griezmann announced he wouldn’t be continuing at the club beyond the current season, and will deposit his release clause amount at the La Liga offices on July 1st.
Expected to sign for Barcelona, the France international will leave a gaping hole in Diego Simeone’s plans, which the Argentine will need to fill permanently.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the easiest way to do that will be to sign Alvaro Morata from Chelsea permanently after a decent second half of the season, during which he scored six goals in 15 league appearances.
Doing so will ensure they have a ‘top striker’ in their squad for the upcoming campaign amid speculation Diego Costa could also exit the Spanish club in the summer.
Atlético can do this one of two ways: either they buy him in the coming months for a fee of over €60m, or they wait until 2020 when they can get him for €45m at the end of the year and a half loan agreed in January.
Mundo believe Atlético will ‘have to face’ paying the clause this summer, as it would put an end to any potential speculation that Chelsea could bring back the player (something Mundo Deportivo believe they have no plans on doing). With the Blues’ transfer ban being upheld, it’s a case of better safe than sorry.
Down his end, the player has ‘no doubts’ about his future, wanting to stay at Atlético instead of returning to Stamford Bridge, with members of his entourage explaining the transfer to Madrid had ‘changed their lives’.
All in all, Griezmann’s transfer should allow Diego Simeone to keep Morata as well as partly fund the arrival of another potential forward.