Atlético Madrid will report Barcelona to FIFA over illegal contact with Antoine Griezmann. This comes after Barcelona’s Director of Institutional Relations, Guillermo Amor, responded to a report of Barcelona’s staff meeting the player’s family by hinting “if it’s as the newspapers say, then there may well have been an approach."
Amor’s response makes no sense. Considering his place at the club, there’s no way he doesn’t know if there was a meeting or wasn’t. It suggests strongly that there was a meeting, and one wonders why Amor felt the need to go public with the hint.
Barcelona’s transfer strategy is confusing, and one has to say, they’re not handling themselves well.
I’ll be the first to say that, contrary to popular belief, these types of meetings and “tapping up” of players are commonplace. One could argue Atlético are being somewhat hypocritical. They do it too.
But the way Barça go about it is not discreet, in fact, it’s quite maladroit. For example, was there really a need to photograph Grêmio’s Arthur with a Barcelona shirt?
Clubs are getting increasingly annoyed at Barcelona, including Liverpool over Philippe Coutinho, Borussia Dortmund over Ousmane Dembélé, and even Guangzhou Evergrande over Paulinho.
Tapping up is a normal thing in football, to the point that I think the rules have to be changed. But the way Barcelona have gone about their business isn’t normal. It’s an approach lacking finesse, and one that could cost them.