May 7, 2018 / 12:10 PM / 2 months ago

Barcelona President fuels Griezmann speculation

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has been in contact with Antoine Griezmann’s agent amid reports the Atletico Madrid striker is set to join the Spanish champions.

Soccer Football - Europa League Semi Final Second Leg - Atletico Madrid v Arsenal - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - May 3, 2018 Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann in action REUTERS/Juan Medina

Frenchman Griezmann has a 100 million euro (88 million pounds) release clause in his contract and Spanish media reported that Barcelona are ready to pay it.

“We are analysing the season and we will see what we will do with ins and outs,” Bartomeu told radio station RAC1.

“I have bumped into him (Griezmann) occasionally in the Balearic Islands. I have not spoke to him this year but I did speak to his agent in October.

“With (Atletico Madrid President Enrique) Cerezo I have spoken about a lot of things, but not about this.”

Barcelona are looking to strengthen their squad after winning the Spanish title at a canter, 12 points clear of second place Atletico with three matches left.

They drew 2-2 with Real Madrid on Sunday in a tempestuous Clasico despite playing the second half with 10 men after Sergi Roberto’s dismissal, and are unbeaten in 42 league matches.

“We are very happy with (coach Ernesto Valverde’s) work and that of the players,” Bartomeu added.

“What they have done and the run they have gone on. When they sent off Sergi Roberto, I suffered a bit thinking about the second half, but then we went on to have a great game.”

Barcelona also won the Spanish Cup this season but were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by AS Roma after squandering a 4-1 first-leg lead.

Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond

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