Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has refused to clarify the future of Antoine Griezmann, amid speculation the striker is set for a move to Barcelona.
Barca were forced in January to deny publicly they had agreed a deal to sign Griezmann, who has indicated he wants his future resolved before the start of the World Cup.
Reports in the Spanish press on Tuesday suggested Cerezo had met Griezmann for dinner in a bid to persuade the Frenchman to stay at Atletico, with the promise of a bumper new contract.
Cerezo has denied meeting Griezmann for talks but the Atletico president was also not definitive on the 27-year-old’s future.
“I can tell you one thing: Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player as of today,” Cerezo said.
“I cannot tell you anything else because I do not know anything else.”
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said on Tuesday: “He is a great player, I have no doubt about that. But we have to be very cautious about saying anything about a player that is not ours and making sure we respect our rivals.”
Barcelona host Villarreal on Wednesday and with the La Liga title already wrapped up, the Catalans now stand three games away from finishing the league season unbeaten.
They would be the first ever invincible side in a 38-game La Liga campaign but some have suggested key players could now be rested for the World Cup, in particular, Lionel Messi.
Messi and Barca were stretched to the full in the Clasico against Real Madrid on Sunday, securing a 2-2 draw, despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.
“If I rotate it will be to try to win the game and have fresh people playing,” Valverde said.
“The other day, with 10 men, we made a great physical effort. But no federation has called me to tell me not to play a player and I have not asked for anything. We have our own objectives.”