Griezmann famously turned down an offer to join Barcelona last season, detailing his internal struggles about whether to make the move in a landmark documentary called The Decision, which was produced by a company owned by Barca’s Gerard Pique, Reuters reported.
He later signed a new contract with Atletico until 2023 which initially raised his release clause to €200 million but numerous reports say that figure will drop to €120 million on July 1.
Catalan newspaper Sport said on its front cover that Barca has set its sights on Griezmann again and plans to fund paying his release clause by selling Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, who cost the Spanish champion a club-record €165 million.
Spanish newspaper Marca said that Atletico’s squad believes Griezmann’s departure is ‘feasible’ while radio station Cadena Ser said the Frenchman is looking to leave the Madrid outfit after ending the campaign trophyless.
The Griezmann saga caused great embarrassment to Barca but after the humiliating 4-0 defeat to Liverpool which sent the Catalans out of the Champions League, the club is planning to shake up its ageing squad ahead of next season.
Griezmann has been Atletico’s talismanic figure since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014, but the club’s finances have been stretched by his ever rising salary, which Marca said exceeds €20 million per year after tax.
Atletico has already agreed to sell France defender Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich for €80 million, while long-serving captain Diego Godin has announced he is leaving the club at the end of the season.