May 8, 2018 / 10:58 PM / 5 months ago

Atletico lash out at Barcelona over Griezmann pursuit

MADRID (Reuters) - Europa League finalists Atletico Madrid hit out at Barcelona on Tuesday, saying they were “fed up” with the attitude of the Spanish champions regarding France striker Antoine Griezmann.

Soccer Football - Europa League Semi Final Second Leg - Atletico Madrid v Arsenal - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - May 3, 2018 Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Griezmann, one of Atletico’s key players, has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp at the end of the season, with Spanish media reporting that Barca are willing to pay his 100 million euro (87.57 million pounds) release clause.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Monday he had spoken to Griezmann’s agent, while the Catalan club’s forward Luis Suarez told Uruguayan radio Griezmann was not coming to the Nou Camp to force anyone out of the team.

"We're fed up with Barcelona's attitude," said Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin in a statement on the club's website en.atleticodemadrid.com.

“(Speaking) about the future of a player with a current contract just a few days before disputing a European final is an absolute lack of respect towards Atletico Madrid and their fans.”

Marin said Atletico, who are second in La Liga and face Olympique de Marseille in the Europa League final on May 16, told Barcelona “a few months ago” that Griezmann was not for sale and they would not negotiate.

“I let (Bartomeu) know his inappropriate conduct was against the integrity of the competition, especially as we’ve been competing for the title and Barcelona have been continuously pressuring one of the most important players in our squad,” added Marin.

Reporting by Rik Sharma in Barcelona; Editing by Ken Ferris

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