Barcelona coach Valverde defends Bartomeu over Griezmann transfer comments


Atletico Madrid release a public statement chastising Barcelona's "lack of respect" during their pursuit of striker Antoine Griezmann.

Having identified the France global striker as a top target, those at Camp Nou have set about trying to put a big-money deal in place. "We need to keep working on that aspect to get to finals".

"He's a great player, I have no doubt about that".

"I also told [Bartomeu] that in the chance the player exercises his right to nullify his contract due to their pressure throughout the season, that Atletico Madrid would demand Barcelona compensation for their inappropriate behaviour".

Atletico face Marseille in the Europa League final in Lyon on May 16 after beating Arsene Wenger's Arsenal 2-1 in the semi-final.

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He finished off by declaring "enough is enough".

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Diego Costa has warned Atletico Madrid team-mate Antoine Griezmann there will be "no going back" if he joins Barcelona at the end of the season. "Enough is enough. I hope this statement serves its objective and that us Atlético fans can enjoy this moment and prepare ourselves for a final like we should".

Gil Marin also suggested he may take action over the perceived "inappropriate" approach.

In January, Barcelona "strongly denied" claims they had agreed a deal to sign Griezmann, who is under contract until 2022, this summer.

Ernesto Valverde may be tempted to have the Frenchman play a similar role to that of Roberto Firmino at Liverpool, dropping deep from the front to allow Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele license to surge forward from either flank.

Barca's apparent pursuit of Griezmann prompted Atletico to complain to Federation Internationale de Football Association over improper conduct in December, though the Camp Nou side denied their claims.

"I can not tell you anything else because I do not know anything else".

"But we have to be very cautious about saying anything about a player that is not ours and making sure we respect our rivals", he added.