Antoine Griezmann has emerged as one of the most talked-about players in the new season, after becoming a subject of a controversial loan agreement.
Currently, on loan at Atleti, Griezmann has a special clause in his contract that will force the Spanish capital club to pay €40 million to Barcelona in 2023, provided the attacker features in at least 45 minutes of the 50% of matches.
Atletico Madrid, though, are trying to circumvent the clause by giving Griezmann about 30 minutes of action each game. It had led to Barcelona seeking legal measures, albeit to no avail.
However, according to a report from MARCA, it appears Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are prepared to come to an agreement that would see the Catalans lower the buyout clause.
The report suggests the Blaugrana have agreed to lower their asking price to €20 million. The newer terms could see the 50% restriction being lifted, meaning Atletico Madrid will be in a position to utilise Griezmann as much as they want.
The negotiations were far from easy and the relationship between the two clubs is currently in a dire stage. But Griezmann’s camp played a key role in facilitating the talks, as the forward was always keen on remaining at Civitas Metropolitano, despite his lack of minutes at the club.
In addition to playing a key role in the negotiations, the Frenchman has also reduced his salary further in order to accommodate himself into Atletico Madrid’s wage structure.
The former Real Sociedad starlet had slashed his wages by 50% when he arrived on loan from Barça. He will now reportedly reduce it further in order to help both parties resolve the issue that has been dominating Spanish football since the start of the new season.
With the restrictions likely to be lifted, Griezmann will be hoping to become a pivotal figure of the Atletico Madrid frontline during the remainder of the campaign.
His form could go a long way in not only helping Los Colchoneros but also boosting France’s chances of retaining the World Cup.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.