The club presidents of FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid have denied a report in Catalan media that said Barça had already communicated their intention of paying Antoine Griezmann’s release clause to his current team, per Mundo Deportivo.
Two radio stations in Spain - Cadena SER and Cadena COPE - had both reported that Barcelona’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, had already communicated to Atléti’s president, Enrique Cerezo, that he would activate Griezmann’s release clause when it lowers to 100 million euro on July 1st.
But Mundo Deportivo reports that Bartomeu denies giving this message, and that Cerezo says the only contact he got was a request was from weeks ago. The message then was asking to negotiate the price down, something Cerezo refused to do, instead pointing to the release clause. Atlético says since then, they haven’t heard a message saying Barcelona will, in fact, pay the clause.
Regardless of these denials, it is considered an open secret that Barcelona are keen to bring the French attacker to the Camp Nou. The moment of truth will be July 1st, when the clause will be ready to be activated. Then we will see whether Barça are willing to pay the money or if they will attempt to negotiate the price down.