ATLETICO MADRID have offered a new contract to Barcelona transfer target Antoine Griezmann.
That’s according to Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague, who says Atletico know they are fighting a losing battle to keep hold of the Frenchman.
Griezmann is set to be one of the summer’s hottest properties with clubs across Europe lured in by his comparatively affordable £89m (€100m) release clause.
Barcelona have been widely touted as the frontrunners in the race to secure the 26-year-old’s signature when the transfer window reopens.
Balague says Atletico have made an attempt to keep hold of Griezmann amid their La Liga rivals’ interest.
But they’re apparently aware that retaining his services is set to prove nigh on impossible.
“Both Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid captain Gabi spoke about Griezmann after he had a superb game against Celta Vigo – one goal and one assist,” Balague wrote for Sky Sports.
“Atleti weren’t at their best but when that happens you absolutely need someone of Griezmann’s quality to make the difference – and he did! On the back of the disappointing performance at Barcelona, it was needed.
“Simeone and Gabi were asked about Griezmann’s future after the game. Simeone replied: ‘We have him here and tomorrow’s another day’, while Gabi said that all he was asking of Griezmann was to give everything to the team while he is at the club.
“As I’ve been saying all along, Atletico Madrid think he is going to leave for Barcelona and Gabi’s comments were a way of ensuring Griezmann remained committed.
“Even though Atleti think Griezmann is leaving, they will still put an offer on the table for him to renew his contract. They will offer more but they know that probably won’t be enough to convince him.”
Atletico will be hoping Griezmann can fire them to the La Liga title if this is to be his last season in Madrid.
Diego Simeone’s side sit eight points adrift of Ernesto Valverde’s table-topping Barcelona with 10 games to go.