Atletico Madrid have accused Barcelona of “lack of respect”, after president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed on Friday that the two clubs had held talks over the signing of Antoinne Griezmann.
Atletico in a statement, had confirmed Bartomeu’s point that there had been a meeting between them to discuss a deal for the World Cup winner, who has a release clause of $134.6 million.
The Madrid club also disclosed that they refused the Last Liga champions’ offer to sign the player first before paying his release clause.
“Obviously our response was negative, understanding that both Barcelona and the player have disrespected Atletico Madrid and all its fans,” the club said.
The statement also claimed that Griezmann had told the club that he had reached a deal with Barcelona in March; days before the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, in which they were dumped out of the competition despite winning the first leg 2-0 at home.
It added: “Atletico Madrid wants to express is strongest condemnation of the behaviour of both parties, in particular Barcelona, for having induced the player to break his contractual relationship with us during the moment in which the club was not only playing the Champions League tie with Juventus, but also challenging Barcelona for the La Liga title.”