French forward Antoine Griezmann said on Sunday that Atletico Madrid’s angry response to his transfer to La Liga rivals Barcelona is ‘a pity’.
Barcelona revealed on Friday they had paid the 28-year-old’s 120-million-euro ($135 million) release clause to sign the World Cup winner on a five-year deal, prompting a furious response from Atletico who said the amount was ‘insufficient’.
‘Regarding Atletico, it’s a pity. I went to see them on purpose so they would not be caught off guard and could prepare for the future,’ the player told a news conference as he was presented at the Camp Nou.
‘We reached an agreement but finally it changed, it’s like that, you have to accept it,’ he added when asked about Atletico’s response.
Shortly after the Catalans had announced the signing, Atletico complained Barcelona and Griezmann had negotiated the deal before the buy-out price dropped from 200 million euros at the start of July.
‘Atletico Madrid believe that the termination of the contract took place before the end of last season,’ the club said, adding Griezmann had made it clear in his actions and words.
Atletico had already ‘begun appropriate procedures’ to defend their ‘rights and legitimate interests’, the statement added.
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