Atletico Madrid look set to pursue Barcelona for an additional €80 million after claiming the €120m received for Antoine Griezmann is “insufficient” to cover the player’s buyout clause.
LaLiga champions Barca have announced the signing of France forward Griezmann on a five-year contract until June 2024.
However, Atletico have “initiated procedures” with a view to receiving a higher fee because they believe the transfer was agreed before the 28-year-old’s buyout clause was reduced from €200m on July 1.
World Cup winner Griezmann announced on May 14 he would be leaving Atletico after spending five seasons in the Spanish capital.
“Atletico Madrid consider that the deposited amount is insufficient to cover his buyout clause since it is obvious the agreement between the player and Barcelona was closed before the clause was reduced from €200m to €120m,” read a statement on Atletico’s website.
“It was also prior to the date on which the clause was modified that the player on May 14 announced his disassociation from the club.
“Atletico Madrid believe the termination of the contract happened before the end of last season due to facts, deeds and actions by the player, and therefore have already initiated the procedures deemed appropriate to protect our rights and lawful interests.”
Earlier this month, Atletico claimed Barcelona and Griezmann had reached a transfer agreement in March and accused them of disrespect.
The fee paid by Barca makes Griezmann the third most expensive player in history, after Paris St Germain pair Neymar (£200.6m) and Kylian Mbappe (£128m).
His Barcelona contract, which will be officially signed on Sunday ahead of his unveiling, contains a buyout clause of €800m.
Griezmann was reported to have turned down a transfer to the Nou Camp last summer because he did not like the thought of being “Lionel Messi’s lieutenant”.
He appeared to reference that failed move in a video posted on Barcelona’s website, while also vowing to “defend the colours” of the Catalan club.
“When I was a boy, my dad taught me that trains don’t come around just once,” said Griezmann.
“Now it’s time to take on the challenge of a new destination. Finally, our paths cross.
“I’ll defend the Barca colours with all my determination and commitment. It’s our time. This is our path.”
Barcelona said the move can help cement Griezmann’s place among the world’s elite performers.
“With his arrival at Barcelona, the Frenchman takes another step forward in his career with the goal of consolidating his place as one of the best players in the world,” read a statement on the club website.
Griezmann, who has won 72 caps for his country, moved to Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and helped the club win the Europa League in 2018, scoring twice in the final against Marseille.
He joined Real Sociedad at the age of 14, making his senior debut four years later.
As well as his World Cup success in Russia last summer, he is also a Champions League and European Championship runner-up after Atletico and France fell at the final hurdle in those respective competitions in 2016.
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The deal is more than the 19-year-old Portuguese forward’s €120m release clause and Atletico will pay the fee in instalments.
Felix, who was linked with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Real Madrid, scored 15 goals in 26 appearances in his first season of senior football last term.
He also became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Europa League when he hit a treble against Eintracht Frankfurt.
He made his international debut for Portugal in the Nations League semi-finals last month.
A statement on Atletico’s official website said: “Our club and Benfica have reached an agreement over the transfer of the young Portuguese footballer.
“The forward has already passed his medical at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra and signed his new contract for the next seven seasons.”
Only Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele have moved on for more.
Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has passed his medical at Valencia and is close to completing a move to the Mestalla, with Neto set to move in the opposite direction in a swap deal.
Dutch custodian Cillessen travelled to Valencia on Tuesday and, according to reports in local media, underwent his medical exam ahead of a transfer which will cost in the region of €30 million.
The Netherlands goalkeeper made 32 appearances in his three seasons at Camp Nou as back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen and his last game was the Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia at the end of May.
The 30-year-old has been keen to leave the Catalan club in search of regular first-team football and he will replace Neto as Valencia No1, with the Brazilian goalkeeper set to move in the other direction.
Neto spent the last two campaigns with Los Che after two seasons with limited opportunities at Juventus.
The two transfers are set to be completed separately, with Neto to complete his move to Barca for the same price before the end of this month, in order to help out Valencia with Financial Fair Play, and Cillessen’s set for early in July.
That is in order for the deal to be funded in a different financial year, 2019/20, with the money to come out of Valencia’s transfer budget for next season.
Big shoes to fill? No problem for this guy...— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) 25 June 2019
Surprised? Nou breekt mijn klomp? 😲 pic.twitter.com/mmP7CkN9Qq