Football News

Barcelona transfer news: Griezmann bombshell sees Coutinho’s agent forced to deny rumours

By William Eldridge

Published: 16:49, 15 May 2019

Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho will not be replaced by Antoine Griezmann, according to the player’s agent.

Griezmann has confirmed that he will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season, with reports suggesting Barcelona is his likely destination.

Is Griezmann set for Barcelona? Five key things to know 

  1. Antoine Griezmann has confirmed via the club’s official Twitter account that he will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.
  2. BBC Sport report that Barcelona will be his next destination, with the Spanish champions willing to match his release clause.
  3. The Frenchman rejected an offer from Barcelona last year, releasing a documentary called ‘The Decision’ which confirmed his choice.
  4. With one game left this season, Griezmann will have completed five years with Atletico, scoring 133 goals in 256 appearances.
  5. In those five seasons, Atletico have won the Europa League, the Spanish Super Cup and the Uefa Super Cup.

The 28-year-old signed a five-year-deal last summer but will depart Atletico with the Catalan giants reportedly willing to match his €120 million release clause.

In his departure video, Griezmann said: “It’s been an incredible five years. Thank you for everything.

“I wanted to tell the fans who have always given me a lot of love that I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges.

“The truth is it has been difficult to take this route but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years.”

Griezmann’s expected arrival at Barcelona is believed to be as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled to make an impact since joining from Liverpool in January 2018.

The Brazilian has scored just 11 goals in 53 appearances for Barcelona this season, and was one of the worst performers as the Blaugrana were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool.

However, Coutinho’s agent, Andrea Bertolucci insists his client is not being replaced by Griezmann.

“It’s untrue that Griezmann is going to replace Philippe at Barcelona,” he told AS.

“I don’t know why they are saying that. I don’t know about that and that’s why I don’t want to talk anymore, but it’s false.”

The deal was ‘confirmed’ months ago

Although there has yet to be an official announcement from Barcelona regarding the transfer of Griezmann, the deal has already been completed according to former Paris Saint-Germain footballer Jerome Rothen.

Originally reported by Mundo Deportivo in March, the 41-year-old spoke on the matter, insisting that he already knew that the deal was going ahead prior to Griezmann’s video.

At the time he said: “I can tell from a reliable source, Antoine Griezmann will go to FC Barcelona next summer.”

Griezmann has reportedly been a long-term target of Barcelona’s, with Atletico reporting the La Liga champions to Fifa following an alleged illegal approach for the forward in 2017.