Barcelona have paid Atlético Madrid €15m to end the controversy around Antoine Griezmann’s move to Camp Nou during the summer. However, the deal will also give Barcelona first refusal on a number of Atlético players.
La Blaugrana ended one of football’s longest-running transfer sagas by sealing a €120m deal for Griezmann during the summer. Controversy arose when Atlético claimed that the deal had actually been agreed earlier in the year, when the Frenchman’s release clause was still set at closer to €200m, thus demanding further compensation.
According to El Mundo, Barcelona have now agreed to pay an additional €15m to settle the case and prevent Atlético from leaking any emails which contain valuable details of their pursuit of Griezmann.
Also during the negotiations, Barcelona have apparently earned themselves first refusal on five Atlético players. Three of those are academy players, but the other two are believed to be first-team stars Saúl Ñíguez and José Giménez.
These rights are not to sign the players, but instead to be informed if Atlético receive any offers for those involved and given the chance to match any bids.
However, Atlético are only obliged to do so if three criteria are met: Atlético want to sell, the player wants to leave and another side is interested. If at least one of those things is not true, then Los Rojiblancos do not need to involve Barcelona, but they can still choose to do so if they wish.
The €15m payment for Griezmann and the rights to the Atlético players are not thought to be directly linked, but instead simply results of the same meeting.
Barcelona have been linked with both Saúl and Giménez in the past, and their determination to seal first refusal on the players suggests that they do still retain some form of interest in both, but they are not currently prioritising the moves.
Instead, they will continue to go about their business as normal, but could choose to leap into action if either player moves closer to the exit door at the Wanda Metropolitano.
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