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Sources: Barca to sue Atleti over Griezmann fee

Barcelona plan to file a lawsuit demanding Atletico Madrid pay them €40 million for Antoine Griezmann, sources have told ESPN.

Griezmann, 31, rejoined Atletico on a two-year loan in 2021 and the two clubs are in dispute over a clause which would see the deal made permanent.

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Sources close to the Catalan club have told ESPN that Barca believe the fact Griezmann played over 45 minutes in 30 of the 37 games he was available for last season means Atletico are now obliged to sign him for €40m.

Atletico, meanwhile, claim Griezmann must play over 45 minutes in 50% of the games he is selectable for over two seasons, not just one, for the clause to take effect.

Therefore, Griezmann has only been used as a substitute in the second half of games this season, coming on in the 62nd, 62nd, 64th, 63rd and 61st minute of their five fixtures.

Sources say Barca’s legal team have re-visited the contract and are convinced they are right, but Atletico’s interpretation of the clause differs.

“It is what it is,” Griezmann told reporters after scoring the winner in Atletico’s Champions League game against Porto on Wednesday.

“It’s not in my hands. I want to [play] more, but I will give everything in the minutes I am given. I am happy to be here, the only thing I want is to give everything for this club, for Cholo [coach Diego Simeone] and the fans.”

Sources told ESPN last month the two clubs had held a series of meetings in which Atletico were trying to persuade Barca to agree to a lower fee.

Simeone still feels Griezmann can contribute beyond this term but Atletico are wary of paying €40m for a player who will turn 32 before the end of the season.

Barca are not keen on taking Griezmann back, either, as his salary of over €20m would take up a large chunk of their LaLiga spending limit. Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico in a deal worth over €100m in 2019.

He scored 35 goals in two seasons at Camp Nou before returning to Atletico, whom he initially joined from Real Sociedad in 2014.

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