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Barcelona Activates Griezmann Release Clause As Star Edges Closer To Transfer

Atletico Madrid's French striker Antoine Griezmann reacts after drawing a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona are closing in on the signing of Antoine Griezmann after finally activating his release clause.

The French star has made no secret of his desire to leave Atletico Madrid this summer with Barcelona leading the chase for some time.

Manchester United had also been interested in Griezmann but he had his heart set on a move to the Nou Camp.

He had only signed a new deal with Atletico last summer with a huge release clause of £171m.

But that dropped considerably on July 1 and Barcelona have now made their move for the Frenchman.

L’Equipe reports Barca activated that release clause on Thursday and are set to hold talks on Friday.

Griezmann, who has not joined up with the Atletico squad for pre-season, has reportedly already agreed a five-year contract with Barcelona.

It is hoped Griezmann could even be presented as a Barcelona player at the Nou Camp as early as Monday.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is also hopeful he will have his new striker present at the first day of pre-season training on July 14, when he calls back the rest of his squad.

Griezmann initially announced he would be leaving Atletico almost two months ago on May 14.

Atletico hit back at Barcelona after holding negotiations with the player, with relations between the two clubs souring.

But they are finally set to agree a deal after the release clause was activated by the Spanish champions.


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