Griezmann confirms he is leaving Atletico Madrid as Barcelona rumours swirl



Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Goal.com

Griezmann confirms he is leaving Atletico Madrid as Barcelona rumours swirl

The France star only signed a contract extension last summer but said he is leaving the club in a video posted to their Twitter account

Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is leaving Atletico Madrid in a video posted to the club's official Twitter account.

The France star only signed a five-year contract extension last summer, but has now said his time with the club will end after Saturday's match against Levante.

The move comes amid rumours of a new bid from Barcelona for Griezmann, who turned down the Blaugrana's advances last summer before going on to help France lift the World Cup in Russia.

Barca are reportedly willing to pay Griezmann's release clause, which Goal understands will be €130 million (£113m/$146m) on July 1, for him to join ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Catalans were in hot pursuit of Griezmann last year, but the France star opted to sign a new contract with Atletico through 2023, announcing his intention in a televised special called "La Decision".

But the 28-year-old has now had a change of heart, and will depart the club he joined from Real Sociedad in 2014.

In the video, Griezmann went on to say that he decided to leave the club to seek a new challenge, and made the decision after a meeting with manager Diego Simeone and club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

"After talking with Cholo [Diego Simeone], Miguel Angel and the people from the offices, I wanted to talk to the fans who have given me a lot of love," Griezmann said.

"I have decided to leave, see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need.

"It's been five great years where I've won my first important trophies with a club. It's been a very important stage.

"I have enjoyed a lot, I have left everything in the field, I have tried to behave well, I have tried to give joy to the people who have come to the Metropolitano and also away from home, and I only have gratitude for all of you".

In his time at Atletico, Griezmann has established himself as one of the world's top attacking players, and helped his side to the Europa League title last season.

Griezmann has scored 15 La Liga goals this season, continuing a trend of having reached double digits in all five of his seasons with Atletico.

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