Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has warned that Barcelona could face consequences if they are found to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Antoine Griezmann before a fee had been agreed between the clubs.
Barça have held a longstanding interest in the France international, having pursued his signing since before last summer, and although he has been keen to join the La Liga champions, the one stumbling block has been Atletico Madrid, who have continually priced them out of a deal.
Even Atleti‘s resolve has its limits, however. Knowing that his release clause was due to drop from €200m to €120m as per July 1st, they announced his departure at the end of last season, and have already redistributed his squad number to Joao Felix.
Barça, it seems, were equally aware of this, and talks of his move to the Catalan side have since accelerated, with the move seeming inevitable. There may be yet another twist, however, as speculation has arisen suggesting that Barca had already agreed a deal in principle with Griezmann prior to his release clause dropping, with a view to rushing it over the line after the fact.
While it is unclear what rules and regulations such an occurrence may breach, Cerezo has warned the Catalan club’s hierarchy that there will be consequences if this is found to be the case.
When asked on Thursday what he thought of the situation, he said, as quoted by the Mail: “The truth is I don’t know, but if it is as you say and he had already signed then there will be consequences.
“It does not seem normal to me but I do not know if he has signed or not, or if he is going to Barcelona or not. I suppose in a few days we will find out.”
The deal is expected to be concluded next week.