Antoine Griezmann agrees five-year Barcelona contract after message from Lionel Messi

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is on the verge of joining Barcelona after agreeing terms on a five-year contract with the Catalan club, according to reports. The France international has enjoyed another exceptional season for Atleti, scoring 19 times in La Liga – the sixth most – as well as netting six times in the Europa League, including a brace in the final.

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for Griezmann, whose €100million (£87m) release clause – active from July 1 – makes him a relative bargain.

And now Spanish newspaper Sport claim Barca have successfully negotiated terms with Griezmann over a five-year deal, with the move becoming official once his buyout clause activates. Griezmann will be paid a basic salary of €15m (£13m) net per season, plus bonuses, and will become the second highest paid player in the squad behind only Lionel Messi.

According to AS, the Argentine has played a role in convincing Griezmann to move to Barcelona, contacting him to say the Barca dressing room is ‘waiting for him with open arms’. Speaking after Barca’s final match of the season, a 1-0 win over Griezmann’s old club Real Sociedad, Messi said of the Frenchman: ‘It’s obvious that I like him.

‘He’s one of the best players right now, I do not know if there’s anything, but we’re delighted that the best come and Griezmann is one of them.’ It has been suggested that Barcelona could pay slightly over Griezmann’s buyout clause to smooth talks with Atletico and ensure a deal is wrapped up in advance of July.

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Eric Wertz

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