Antoine Griezmann announces departure to open door to $139m Barcelona move

    Antoine Griezmann Atletico

    (CNN)"I've made the decision to leave." The words that Atletico Madrid fans have both feared and, in truth, expected for some time.

    It is a statement from Antoine Griezmann, the club's star player, that has opened the door for a $139.5 million move to Barcelona.
    The huge figure was placed in the five-year contract extension signed by Griezmann in June 2018.
    Griezmann's former club, Real Sociedad, will receive around $28 million from the transfer after placing a 20% sell-on fee in his contract, reports Marca.
    He has long been a target for the La Liga reigning champion and, speaking in a video to address his club's fans directly after meeting with manager Diego Simeone and chief executive Miguel Angel, he revealed that he would be looking to end his five-year spell with the team.
    In the video aired on Atletico's social media channels, the 28-year-old said: "I wanted to tell you that I've made the decision to leave to experience new things and have new challenges. It's been very hard for me to take this path, but I feel that it's what I need.
    "I wanted to thank you for all the love you've given me in these five years, in which I've won my first important trophies with a club. They were incredible moments that I will always remember. The truth is you're in my heart."
    Griezmann scored a penalty in France's 4-2 World Cup final victory in 2018.