Atletico Madrid have been indulged in a battle with FC Barcelona over the loan contract of Antoine Griezmann, especially after the club from the capital opted not to play the striker for more than 30 minutes in matches this season.
However, according to Fabrizio Romano, it appears Atleti and Barcelona are prepared to let bygones be bygones and seek a solution over the exact terms of the deal.
The current clause in loan agreement for Griezmann states that Atletico Madrid are obliged to pay €40 million at the end of the season if the attacker plays more than 50 percent of the matches he is available for.
But a match is only being counted if the player features in more than 45 minutes. Atleti have been exploiting this loophole with impunity, thus forcing Barcelona to seek legal measures.
However, knowing Atletico Madrid are not precisely breaking any law by restricting the attacker’s game-time, it appears Barcelona are ready to come to a settlement and lower the final terms of the deal that currently stands at around €40 million.
The Catalans are aware of the fact that they may not be able to offload Griezmann next summer if Los Colchoneros continue to stunt the game-time of the player. In addition, the Frenchman’s exorbitant wage packet could severely impact Barça’s financial structure.
Therefore, the Blaugrana are now seeking a solution and are in direct contact with their rivals to resolve the matter. It will come as a major boost for Atletico Madrid, who had even started Griezmann in the recent Madrid derby against their cross-town rivals.
The Frenchman’s presence did not make much of a difference, though, as Real Madrid eventually won the game 2-1, thanks to goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde.
Atletico lash out at referee’s decision during Real Madrid clash: “They create such pressure”
Real Madrid’s win over Atletico Madrid once again showed the European Champions’ ability to fight back even from the deepest of troughs and come back on top. The men in white were a goal down with 15 minutes to spare but forced extra time and managed to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
However, the game was not without its own share of controversy. One of the biggest moments came in the 71st minute when Dani Ceballos avoided a red card that would have changed the course of the game. Ironically, Atletico Madrid had Stefan Savic sent off in extra time to help Real Madrid progress.
To give context Ceballos was already on a yellow card for making an unnecessary challenge in the 69th minute of the game. Two minutes later, he appeared to have caught Thomas Lemar near the knee.
Atletico Madrid thus demanded that he get a second yellow and receive his marching orders. Given that the Rojiblancos were already up a goal, it could have changed the course of the game. But the referee did not show a second yellow to the Real Madrid midfielder.
Los Rojiblancos are far from happy with the refereeing at Santiago Bernabeu and have released an official statement via their CEO, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, regarding their displeasure. The statement is as follows:
“With 0-1, in the 71st minute, playing the place for the Copa semifinals in their own stadium, leaving Real Madrid with 10 players is big words.
“Real Madrid is a club with a very strong environment, with many interests around it. They create such pressure that it’s normal to affect the people who must make decisions. They [referees] are aware of what awaits them if they made a mistake.”
Clearly, the accusation from Diego Simeone’s side goes far beyond the events of the derby and makes a contentious general statement about Real Madrid’s influence on matches.