Amid a legal standoff between Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona regarding Antoine Griezmann over the €40 million, reports lately have suggested that the two clubs could soon seek a renewed agreement in the coming days.
While Atletico are subjected to pay €40 million at the end of the season, providing Griezmann completes the 50% criteria, many believe that they could convince Barça to lower the price tag to €25 million.
However, a report from Diario SPORT suggests that Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are yet to reach an agreement with Griezmann over any lowered terms.
Although the two clubs are actively seeking an agreement, negotiations could prove to be difficult as the discrepancies between the two clubs remain high. The whole operation could take much longer than expected, and the status quo has not changed much, as of now.
Griezmann, for his part, remains calm about the situation. He remains committed to continuing at Atletico Madrid, even though the forward has not been in more than 30 minutes of action in any of the matches so far this season. It was once again evident in Atleti’s recent Champions League encounter against Bayer Leverkusen.
The former Real Sociedad starlet is aware of the fact that he has registered his place in the French national team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. As such, he is willing to wait and allow Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to resolve their differences.
Atleti president Enrique Cerezo had recently spoken about the issue, suggesting that the club do not plan to reach any agreement with Barcelona just yet. However, only time will tell whether or not their policy changes in the coming weeks, especially if Barça are willing to lower the price tag for Griezmann come the end of the season.
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.