Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of Manchester City signing Antoine Griezmann, leaving the door open for Barcelona.
The 28-year-old Frenchman is being linked with both clubs following his announcement that he will be leaving Atlético Madrid this summer.
Griezmann at Atletico: Five things to know…
- Griezmann joined Atlético Madrid from Real Sociedad in July 2014 for a reported £24m.
- He’s since made no fewer than 257 appearances for Atléti in all competitions, registering 133 goals and 50 assists.
- Griezmann has lifted three trophies during his time with Los Rojiblancos: 2014 Supercopa de España, 2018 Europa League and 2018 UEFA Super Cup.
- During his time in Madrid, he’s been linked with the likes of Chelsea, PSG, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
- Griezmann’s final game for Atletico was a 2-2 draw away to Levante on May 18.
Griezmann’s decision comes less than a year after reaffirming his commitment to Atléti; the forward was heavily associated with a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2018 before he released a video titled ‘La Decision’ in which he laid those rumours to rest.
Such a public display of loyalty earned him a renewed sense of reverence among Atlético’s support, though the method didn’t go down too well. Nevertheless, it seems Griezmann regretted his choice and is now available on the market.
Highly coveted since breaking out, there’s no shortage of admirers, however, it remains to be seen whether Griezmann will create a transfer battle given the valuation of his buyout clause from July is £108m.
This piece of information has already seen a number of clubs distance themselves, notably Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, before City boss Guardiola weighed in whilst reassuring Griezmann’s most likely next club.
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“I can assure the people of Barcelona that we won’t be signing Antoine Griezmann,” he told reporters ahead of City’s FA Cup final meeting with Watford. “We can’t afford him.”
End of an era
By saying goodbye, Griezmann ends a five-year association with Atlético Madrid, where he’s gone from being a promising talent to becoming one of Europe’s most feared forwards.
A hardworking individual who came to embody his current manager Diego Simeone’s brand of football, Griezmann is equally stylish and creative having produced 50 assists and 133 goals across 257 matches in all competitions.
Barcelona, who are looking to rebuild in the summer, is strongly tipped as his next stop. His presence in the final third – alongside Luis Suarez, compatriot Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi – could potentially catapult them to a sixth European Cup, which is what the powers that be in Catalonia are banking on.