A protracted transfer saga has finally reached its end, with the World Cup winner swapping the Spanish capital for Catalunya
Barcelona have officially announced the signing of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, with the French forward putting pen-to-paper after the Blaugrana paid his full €120m (£107m/$134m) release clause.
The former Real Sociedad forward and 2018 World Cup winner has signed at the Camp Nou for the next five seasons through to June 2024 – a contract that includes a buyout clause of €800m.
The move has not been without drama, as Atleti recently hit out at both Barca and Griezmann himself for their conduct after it was revealed that the two parties had been in negotiations and reached an agreement in March – a time during which Diego Simeone’s side were still fighting in La Liga and the Champions League.
Indeed, Atletico were only informed by the World Cup winner in May that he wanted to leave at the end of the season, further frustrating Los Rojiblancos after delaying making public his intention to stay in a televised announcement the season before.
With the deal now completed, however, Griezmann will link up with Lionel Messi and co as the current Spanish champions aim to win the Liga title for a third consecutive season.
A product of Real Sociedad’s youth system, Griezmann will bring even more goals to a team that netted 90 times in the league last season – some 35 more than Atletico and 27 more than Barca’s bitter rivals Real Madrid.
During his prolific five-year stay in the Spanish capital, the 28-year-old helped himself to 133 goals in 257 appearances across all competitions, and has also bagged 29 for his country since making his France debut in March 2014.
The Macon-born star becomes Barcelona’s third most expensive signing in the club’s history behind Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
It is understood Griezmann’s lawyer deposited the required buy-out funds at La Liga headquarters in Madrid on Friday morning.
Real Sociedad – the club that took a gamble on the attacker after many clubs in his home country of France had rejected the chance to sign him – will receive €24m (£22m/$27m) of the total transfer fee.
Now that the two-year transfer saga is finally at an end, Griezmann will look to form a lethal trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.