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Atlético, Barcelona agree to reworked deal for Griezmann

The Frenchman has signed his new multi-year contract with Atleti, too.

2022-10-04 Club Brugge KV v Atletico Madrid - Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Joris Verwijst/Orange Pictures

Update, Oct. 10 Atlético and Griezmann himself have confirmed the agreement. Griezmann rejoins Atleti from Barcelona on a contract to 2026, for a reported fee of less than €25 million.

“Happy to be where I want to be,” Griezmann tweeted. “Thanks to everyone. Aúpa Atleti!”

Griezmann also sat down for a three-minute interview posted on the club’s official social media channels. The France star discusses how much he wanted to return to Madrid and how highly he values his relationships with Koke, Simeone, and the Atlético fans.

The original story is below.

According to multiple reports, Atlético Madrid and FC Barcelona are on the verge of finalizing a new agreement for Antoine Griezmann, who is expected to join Atlético permanently next summer for a fee up to €24 million (including bonuses) and sign a new contract that ties him to the Cívitas Metropolitano until 2027.

Marca’s David Medina on Friday reported that the deal is now signed, and Griezmann’s new Atleti contract will be valid until 2026.

Striking a new agreement with Barcelona for Griezmann had been a priority in Atlético’s offices since the summer transfer window. When the season began, Atleti leadership instructed coach Diego Simeone — who has a close relationship with Griezmann — to limit the France star’s minutes so that the club would avoid paying Barça a €40 million obligation to buy next summer.

This obligation, agreed upon last August, would have been triggered if Griezmann had been on the pitch for at least 45 minutes in 50 percent of the games he was eligible to play over the duration of his 2-year loan. As a result, Griezmann has made only two starts this season (in losses to Real Madrid and Club Brugge) and has come off the bench in his eight other appearances.

Atletico Madrid v FC Porto: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

This news, first reported by Más Atlético, rips up Atleti’s previous agreement with Barcelona. The club seems to have successfully cut that purchase obligation in half and will pay an initial €20 million, while Griezmann has been convinced to take another pay cut to around €7 million per year. The player’s new four-year contract, taking him past his 35th birthday, will help Atlético comply with LaLiga’s strict salary limits and bring immediate relief by spreading his wages out over a longer time period.

If Griezmann does fulfill his contract and stay until 2026, he has a good chance to end his career as Atlético’s all-time top scorer. Club legend Luis Aragonés’s tally of 172 goals has stood since his 1974 retirement, and Griezmann (144) is 29 goals away from breaking it.

That said, Griezmann’s end product has largely gone missing since his return from Spotify Camp Nou. The 31-year-old has only 9 goal contributions (5 scored/4 assisted) in LaLiga since the start of last season. Though his figures in the Champions League are better, Griezmann did not impress in Tuesday’s gut-punch loss at Brugge, missing a late penalty as Atlético sank to the bottom of Group B.