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Griezmann to Barcelona: A signing two years in the making

  /  autty

Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player, a signing that's been two years in the making.

The Frenchman was one of the candidates to replace Neymar in 2017, but Griezmann ended up renewing his contract at Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona instead opted for Ousmane Dembele and a two-year transfer saga began.

2017/18 Season

By October 2017, Barcelona were already plotting their move for Griezmann for the summer of 2018. Everyone at the Catalan club knew he was being lined up, including the key members of Ernesto Valverde's squad.

"He's not coming to take the place of anyone," Luis Suarez said, slightly rattled by the prospect of Griezmann arriving to replace him in the team.

"It's obvious that I like Griezmann," said Lionel Messi.

Summer 2018

Everything pointed to Griezmann wearing blue and garnet but, in a dramatic U-turn, he turned down the chance to move to the Camp Nou during a controversial documentary.

2018/19 Season

After a fairly disappointing campaign with Atletico, Griezmann decided that he wanted to leave. On June 12, Los Rojiblancos' CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin admitted that the Frenchman would be joining Barcelona.

Summer 2019

Via another video, Griezmann revealed that he'd be leaving Atletico during the summer on May 14, but he didn't say where he'd be going.

He revealed that he'd know his next destination by the start of July, which is when his release clause dropped from 200 million euros to 120m euros, but Barcelona first looked to negotiate with Atletico, though to little effect. Los Rojiblancos asked for Nelson Semedo during the discussions and this was swiftly rejected. Then, the Blaugrana asked to pay in instalments to the ire of Atletico, who released a statement criticising Barcelona and Griezmann. The Catalans therefore realised that the only way to sign the forward is to pay his release clause.

Now, though, two years after first contacting him, the Griezmann soap opera is over.