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Barcelona hold talks with Atletico over Antoine Griezmann signing

Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring their first goal. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Barcelona, Spain Jul 05, 2019, 08.50 PM (IST)

Barcelona have held talks with Atletico Madrid over the potential signing of forward Antoine Griezmann, the Catalan giants' president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed on Friday.

French star Griezmann, who has long been linked with a move to Barcelona but last year opted to stay in the Spanish capital, has a release clause of €120 million ($134.6 million) in his contract.

But Barcelona want to sign the 28-year-old World Cup winner without activating the clause.

"Yesterday (Thursday), we had a meeting," said Bartomeu. "Oscar Grau, our general manager, met with Miguel Angel Gil (Atletico's general manager) in Madrid and we began to ask him if it was possible that this (scenario) can happen.

"There is an interest, that's why we got together."

Griezmann signed for Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and has since scored 133 goals in 257 appearances for Diego Simeone's men.

He has also netted 29 times in 70 international games for France, winning the 2018 World Cup and claiming the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 as 'Les Bleus' lost in the final on home soil to Portugal.

Barcelona won their second straight La Liga title last season but are looking to reinforce their squad after failing again in their bid for a first Champions League triumph since 2015 -- suffering a humiliating loss to Liverpool in the semi-finals having won the first leg 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

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Griezmann signed for Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and has since scored 133 goals in 257 appearances