Currently, the French forward is on loan from Barcelona back to Atletico for two years. However, there is a clause in the agreement that makes the transfer permanent, forcing the Colchoneros to pay the Catalan club $40 million.
The condition revolves around Griezmann’s playing time with Atletico. According to Barcelona, Griezmann playing over 45 minutes in 30 of 37 games available for selection triggers the clause for a permanent transfer. On the other hand, Atletico believes the player must play over 45 minutes in half of the games he is available for over both seasons, not just one.
Therefore, it is clear why Antoine Griezmann only appears as a substitute in the second half of games. In all five games of the 2022/23 campaign, Diego Simeone used Griezmann off the bench. Currently, he is averaging just 27.6 minutes per match. All this is in an effort to avoid paying Barcelona the fee of $40 million.
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Despite the limitation on minutes, Griezmann continues to thrive. He has three goals in his stints on field. That includes a late winner in a dramatic Champions League game against Porto midweek.
After scoring that goal to provide Atletico all three points, the player spoke on his unusual role.
“The situation is what it is. It is out of my hands,” said Griezmann. “Of course I want more (minutes), but I am going to give it my all in the minutes I have. I feel like I am a man of this club. I am happy here and I only want to play here and give this club all I can, both for Cholo (Simeone) and our fans.”
Barcelona originally bought Griezmann from Atleti in 2019 for a mouthwatering $132 million. The Frenchman, however, failed to make an impact and was sent back to the Colchoneros just two years later.
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