Basque Country paper Diario Vasco reports that Atlético’s offer of €7 million plus midfielders Fran Mérida and Raúl García for Real Sociedad starlet Antoine Griezmann was rejected by the San Sebastián-based side.
Rumours about Atleti’s interest in landing the Frenchman had gained traction on Thursday, when AS reported that the winger had told website Footmercato.net a move to the Vicente Calderón would appeal to him.
“They’re a club that attract me,” said Griezmann.
“Atlético are always in Champions or Europa League. They’re one of the big clubs of Spain.”
The 20-year-old’s flattery didn’t stop there.
“Atleti have extraordinary supporters,” he said. “They almost always fill up their stadium in all their home matches.”
Griezmann, a Real Sociedad youth system product since the age of 13, did have one condition though.
“If I go there, it would be to play,” he admitted.
A breakout player of the Txuri-urdin’s top flight return 2010/11 season, his signing would be a major boost for Atleti fans trying to recover from the double blow of losing stars David de Gea and, in all likelihood, Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero this summer.
Apart from what this deal would do for supporter morale, it’s clear from the nature of this initial bid that Atlético sporting director Jose Luis Caminero is looking to solve two of the squad’s most pressing issues at the moment:
1. The lack of a natural left-winger since the departure of Simao in last January’s transfer window; and
2. The excess of midfielders at Atleti.
Griezmann, who is currently with the youth French side that will take part in the U-20 World Cup in Colombia, has a release clause of €30 million. That buyout clause is uniformly included in all of La Real’s first team players’ contracts.
The Basque outfit are said to be in no rush, nor in any need of selling their marquee footballers, so Caminero will have to step up his attempts if he wants the youngster to suit up in red and white next season.
Atleti aren’t the only club to have been turned down by La Real. Valencia, who are also among the long list of European teams rumoured to be in pursuit of the winger’s services, were reportedly rejected by Real Sociedad this summer as well.
Los Che have apparently pulled out of the running to buy Griezmann though, claims Diario Vasco.
At La Real, Griezmann has been primarily utilised as a left-winger, though he can also be deployed as a striker. In his first season in Spain’s Primera División last year, Antoine featured in 37 league matches and two domestic cup ties, scoring a total of seven goals in all competitions.
Do you feel our reported offer was reasonable, or do you think we low-balled La Real?