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Barcelona agree to sell Antoine Griezmann for half asking price in huge financial blow

Barcelona have agreed to sell Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid permanently for just £17.5million – half of their original agreement.

Diego Simeone is a huge advocate of Griezmann and was the decisive factor in the club's controversial decision to re-sign the forward a year ago from Barcelona on a two-year long loan arrangement, which would become compulsory at the end of that spell for €40million (£34m).

However, that agreement became increasingly problematic as it was dependent upon a clause that ensured Griezmann was required to play a minimum number of minutes – with Atletico then trying to find a way round that to avoid paying the set amount.

Griezmann has started just two of the side's 10 matches this campaign across all competitions and has regularly been introduced as a substitute after the hour-mark in games. This was a decision driven by the club, rather than Simeone, and it forced both sides to come to an alternative agreement.

The two clubs have been locked in negotiations for weeks and Marca detail how they have now come to a conclusion with Atleti agreeing to pay half of the original amount to sign the player outright. This means that they can now begin selecting Griezmann as often as they wish without fear of having to pay more money.

Griezmann left Atleti in contentious circumstances in 2019, joining La Liga rivals Barcelona when his release clause in the Spanish capital was triggered. The forward had netted 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atleti during his first spell, before scoring 35 times across two seasons at the Camp Nou.

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Griezmann netted the only goal of the game as Atletico won at Valencia earlier this season (


Ivan Terron/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Los Rojiblancos are in financial difficulties and the club's hierarchy had attempted to persuade Simeone to allow Griezmann to leave the club – halfway through his loan spell – this summer. The Argentine eventually prevailed and kept the Frenchman in his squad after a compromise was reached.

Griezmann is now set to sign a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Madrid club through to the summer of 2026, which will surpass his 35th birthday and likely be the last major, long-term contract of his senior contract.

Despite his limited playing time this campaign, Greizmann has already netted three goals this season in victories over Getafe, Valencia and FC Porto and is likely to be a central figure for the club in the years to come.