Athetico Madrid is allegedly set to file a report against Spanish giants Barcelona over an illegal approach for their star striker Antoine Griezmann.
The 26-year old has been the subject of interest for quite a few big names over the years, but nothing has taken him away from Madrid yet.
This time around, the top contenders looking to sign the Frenchman are Barcelona and Manchester United. Barcelona seem to be the most relentless of the pair, having lost Neymar to PSG at the start of this season.
The initial approach by Josep Maria Bartomeu was reported by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, who claimed that he met with Griezmann’s sister over lunch to discuss a possible move to Camp Nou for a fee of around £87 million.
Their pursuit was confirmed recently with Barca’s director of sporting relations Guillermo Amor refusing to rule out a move for Antoine Griezmann, suggesting that the meeting with the Frenchman’s family could be the sign of an approach.
“If Bartomeu met with Griezmann’s family as the newspapers say, then there may well have been an approach, though I don’t know anything for sure.” he explained in an interview with Movistar.
The Rojablancos are now set to file an official complaint with the football governing body FIFA, in a bid to retain their talisman who has found his form this season.
Having joined Athetico after two prolific seasons at Real Sociedad during the summer of 2014, he has been one of first names on the team sheet for all managers since. He currently has an impressive tally of 90 goals in 177 appearances for the club.
He was poised for a move away from the club last summer, but decided to stay due to the active transfer ban on his club.
Current FIFA reguations on “tapping up”:
Currently under both the transfer rules established by FIFA and the Football Association followed by the clubs playing in England if another club wants to procure the services of a player that is registered with another club they must speak directly with that club and not to the player or his agent.
The individual player and the agent who represents him will only be brought in for discussions with the potential purchasing club once the two clubs have agreed on a fee.
Recently, Liverpool were forced to apologize to Southampton, for having made direct contact with Virjil van Dijk over a possible move to Anfield during summer.
What this could mean for Barcelona:
If proved, Barcelona might be forced to apologize in a similar manner. Although if matters go downhill, they may face yet another transfer ban, already having seen one a couple of years ago for the controversial signing of Neymar from Santos.