Atlético Madrid’s top two goalscorers from the 2022/23 season could leave the club this summer for a total of €35 million.
Reports this week have revealed the release clauses inserted into the contracts of Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata — and as with so many decisions this board makes, the news will leave Rojiblancos sweating.
Griezmann — whose 31 goal contributions were the most of any LaLiga player last season — has a €25 million release clause in the contract he signed last October, according to L’Equipe. Morata — whose 13 strikes in the league were second only to Griezmann among Atlético players — could depart for even less, as the clause in his new contract to 2026 is only €10 million, per MARCA.
(Rubén Uría has disputed this claim on Twitter. He says Morata’s clause is actually much higher than this, but he does not reveal the precise figure.)
If you wanted a snapshot into the financial problems facing Atlético de Madrid, you don’t have to look much further than this. Club CEO Miguel Ángel Gil has tightened the purse strings considerably since the winter 2022 window as plans take shape for the €300 million Atlético Madrid Sports City — a project slated to open by 2026 that he considers his “crowning achievement” as chief executive — and an eventual sale of his shares in a few years’ time.
Atlético have spent just over €50 million on new signings since January 2022 — including €20 million-plus for Griezmann that FC Barcelona will receive this summer. By devaluing players like Griezmann and Morata to this degree, Atleti are openly baiting suitors to lodge bids for the forwards — who, especially in Griezmann’s case, will be nearly impossible to replace on the cheap.
⚪️ El presente y el futuro de Griezmann está en el Atlético de Madrid: el jugador no se plantea salir del club rojiblanco— SER Deportivos (@SERDeportivos) June 15, 2023
️ L'Equipe asegura que su cláusula de rescisión es de 25 millones de euros, una cifra muy asequiblehttps://t.co/GrX65Epoxg
The saving grace, particularly for head coach Diego Simeone, might be that Griezmann has absolutely no desire to leave Atlético — not least of which because he is just 17 goals from surpassing Luis Aragonés as the club’s all-time top scorer. Morata is also unlikely to leave this summer despite the low release clause — even though Saudi club Al-Taawon has reportedly made him an offer worth €50 million per year.
However, MARCA explain that Morata’s stance might change if another Saudi side, Al-Hilal, makes a successful push to hire his old Juventus coach Max Allegri. Morata and Allegri have a good relationship, and a proposal from the Riyadh-based club could turn Morata’s head if the Italian accepts a job there.