French striker Antoine Griezmann announced on Thursday he was staying put at Atletico Madrid in an eagerly awaited decision that ends intense speculation of a possible move to Barcelona.
“I’ve decided to stay,” Griezmann told a Spanish pay per view channel 48 hours before he turns out for France in their World Cup opener.
The 27-year-old was heavily wooed by Barcelona but in the end he has elected to prolong his four-year stay at the Spanish capital side.
His loyalty to Atletico has been rewarded with an increase in salary to 20 million euros a year, according to reports in the Spanish media, making him the best-paid player in the club’s history.
For Barcelona, his decision to stay in Madrid will be hard to take, a year after the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain. The Catalan giants were all set to meet his 100 million euro buyout clause.