Barcelona manager confirms interest in Antoine Griezmann

Ernesto Valverde has admitted contact has now been made over a move for Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

The France striker confirmed his intention to leave the club this summer, with a €120million release clause set to kick in from July 1.

And Barcelona have been left in the clear after Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain ruled themselves out of the race. After concluding the La Liga season as champions with a 2-2 draw at Eibar, Valverde admitted talks over a deal are now underway.

“It is true we have already made contacts,” Valverde said.

“It is true that contacts are ongoing, but the season isn’t over yet.

“We have the Copa Del Rey final still to play. We have the chance of winning two titles and we must try to focus on this issue.

“Afterwards we will have time for everything else – we won’t say anything new when we are talking about players from other teams.

“We will see (what happens). He (Griezmann) is a great player. We’ve always said so.”

Barcelona will hope to conclude a disappointing season on a high in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday against Valencia.

The shocking loss to Liverpool in the Champions League ultimately signals failure, but the consolation of another double is within reach at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville.

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