Antoine Griezmann set to join Barcelona for £104m as forward announces he will be leaving Atletico Madrid

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The World Cup winner only signed a new five-year deal with the LaLiga club last summer

Antoine Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid he will not return to the club next season.

The French World Cup winner signed a five-year deal with Atletico last season and had a release clause inserted into his contract which will drop to £104million on July 1.

Antoine Griezmann is leaving Atletico Madrid after five seasons
Antoine Griezmann is leaving Atletico Madrid after five seasons

Griezmann rejected a move to Barcelona last summer but the club announced on Tuesday night on that he has now decided to move on.

The 28-year-old said in a video posted on the club’s Twitter account: “I wanted to tell you that I’ve made the decision to leave to experience new things and have new challenges.

“It’s been very hard for me to take this path, but I feel that it’s what I need.

“I wanted to thank you for all the love you’ve given me in these five years, in which I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. They were incredible moments that I will always remember.

“The truth is you’re in my heart.”

Griezmann was frustrated at his side’s early exit from the Champions League – Atletico were dismantled by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick – while his side again missed out to Barcelona for the title.

It now looks certain that he will be moving to LaLiga rivals Barca.

Camp Nou chiefs are believed to have previously offered the Frenchman a contract until 2024 where he would earn £13million-per-year.

Last summer, Blaugrana stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique actively encouraged the club to sign the striker so Barca deal-makers know a potential deal will bode well with the current squad.

Griezmann left Real Sociedad for Atletico in July 2014 and has scored 94 goals in 179 LaLiga games and a further 21 in 48 in the Champions League.

He will play his last game for the club on Saturday away at Levante.

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