Rumours linking Antoine Griezmann to a move to Barcelona in the summer are continuing to feature in both the Spanish and French Press, and there is no sign of them stopping. AS recently reported that Barca have already agreed the €100m move with the French forward and Marca have claimed this week that Griezmann’s wife has already begun house-hunting in Catalonia.
Nonetheless, it was widely expected that he would leave Atletico Madrid last summer, only for him to stay. So as this season heads towards its final stages, will he once again stick around in Madrid or will he head for the headier heights of Barca?
The 26-year-old’s form has been some of the best of his career as of late. At the end of February he scored seven goals in the space of a week and on Sunday led Atleti to victory with a goal and assist in their 3-0 win over Celta Vigo, which means he now has 21 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. The reason for this upturn in form is thanks to his new strike partner, Diego Costa. With the Spanish striker playing as the focal point of Los Rojiblancos attack, Griezmann is free to feed off him and have more influence on the game in a slightly more roaming role.
When asked about his thoughts on Griezmann’s future after that game, Diego Simeone did not give much away.
"I talk about realities, and not suppositions," Simeone said, according to ESPN. "He is playing fantastically well, there is communion with the fans, he scored a great goal, gave a fantastic assist, worked hard for the team. I speak about today, but tomorrow is tomorrow.”
Griezmann’s career really will be at a crossroads this summer. It is quite surprising that he has never won a major trophy as a player, notwithstanding the Spanish Super Cup. So it all comes down to whether or not he believes that he can win trophies in the years to come under Simeone, as it is more than likely that he will win titles if he was to sign for La Blaugrana.
Playing with Costa, keeping together this relatively young Atleti squad and winning the Europa League are all factors that could persuade the Frenchman to stay. Los Colchoneros President Enrique Cerezo seems quite calm with the whole situation.
“He has not told me at all about wanting to move away so it would surprise me a lot of this was his desire,” Cerezo told reporters, as cited by Marca. “What is certain and what I can tell you is that he is under contract and this means no other sign can sign him without our permission, and it is a long contract. We should not be nervous about this, I believe he is happy and wants to continue to play for Atletico beyond this season.”
Griezmann has a big decision to make. Does he up sticks for Barca, where he will join an already packed forward line of stars but have a guarantee of winning trophies or does he once again stay loyal to the club that helped become one of the world’s best in the hope that he can achieve things there? Over to you, Grizi.