Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is leaving Atletico Madrid in a video posted to the club’s official Twitter account.
The player signed a five-year contract extension only last summer, but has now said his time with the club comes to an end after Saturday’s Laliga game against Levante at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.
Griezmann turned the Catalans down last summer and renewed for Roji blancos before joining his colleagues in national team camp to help France win their Second World cup trophy in Russia 2018, but now fancied the new deal been put on table for him from Barcelona.
Barca are reportedly willing to pay Griezmann’s release clause, which we understands will be €130 million (£113m/$146m) on June 1.
But the 28-year-old has now had a change of heart, and will depart the club he joined from Real Sociedad in 2014.
In the video, Griezmann went on to say that he decided to leave the club to seek a new challenge, and made the decision after a meeting with manager Diego Simeone and club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin.
“After talking with Cholo [Diego Simeone], Miguel Angel and the people from the offices, I wanted to talk to the fans who have given me a lot of love,” Griezmann said.
Atlético de Madrid
.@AntoGriezmann: “Han sido cinco años increíbles; muchas gracias por todo, os llevo en el corazón”.
“I have decided to leave, see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need.
“It’s been five great years where I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. It’s been a very important stage.
Griezmann to leave Atletico Madrid
“I have enjoyed a lot, I have left everything in the field, I have tried to behave well, I have tried to give joy to the people who have come to the Metropolitano and also away from home, and I only have gratitude for all of you”.
In his time at Atletico, Griezmann has established himself as one of the world’s top attacking players, and helped his side to the Europa League title last season.
Griezmann has scored 15 La Liga goals this season, continuing a trend of having reached double digits in all five of his seasons with Atletico.