Antoine Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid that Saturday’s LaLiga game with Levante will be his last for the club – with a transfer to Barcelona now widely expected.
The France striker signed a five-year deal with Atletico last summer and the release clause in his contract will drop to a fee of around £104million on July 1.
Griezmann rejected a move to Barcelona last year before signing his new deal, but he has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp this summer.
Reports in the Spanish media on Tuesday strongly indicated a swap deal with Philippe Coutinho could be on the cards; the Brazil playmaker failing to settle in Catalonia since a £142m switch from Liverpool in January 2018.
Fow now though, Griezmann was quick to pay tribute to Atletico and claimed he will always love the club.
Griezmann said in a video posted on the club’s Twitter account: “It has been five incredible years, thank you very much for everything, I carry you in my heart.
“After speaking with Cholo (coach Diego Simeone), then with Miguel Angel (chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin) and the people in the hierarchy of the club I wanted to speak with you, the fans, who have always given me a lot of love.
“To tell you I have taken the decision to leave. To see other things, to have other challenges.
“The truth is it has been difficult to take this route, but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 14, 2019
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.