Barcelona to protect Antoine Griezmann at presentation

Barcelona will not unveil Antoine Griezmann in front of any fans as they fear the event may prove controversial, according to Marca.

It is claimed that the Blaugrana will deposit the full amount of the French forward’s €120m release clause at La Liga headquarters, meaning he will complete his move from Atletico Madrid.

However, despite the fact that the Catalan giants presented Frenkie de Jong in front of 20,000 fans this summer, they will not take the same approach for Griezmann.

The report claims the timing of the unveiling is deliberately coinciding with the relaying of the Camp Nou pitch while the nearby Mini Estadi is hosting the Cirque du Soleil show.

There are said to be fears that many Barcelona fans do not want the signing after he rejected the move last year to pen a new long-term deal at Atleti, before changing his mind.

The long-anticipated move has been delayed as the Blaugrana were initially refusing to pay the player’s clause and were instead attempting to structure a deal involving separate payments.

The forward’s release clause dropped from €200m to €120m on 1 July but the Catalan giants have failed to deposit the specified amount in a lump sum payment, and instead would prefer to pay in instalments.

The move has turned increasingly sour with Atleti reportedly set to internally discipline the forward for not turning up for the start of the club’s pre-season training.

It is the latest development in the ongoing dispute between the parties with the Frenchman attempting to force through a move.

Tags Antoine Griezmann