The France international had looked on course to join Manchester United for a fee reportedly in the region of €100million (£88m) – the release clause in his Atletico contract – with Griezmann at one point saying there was a ‘six out of 10’ chance of him moving to Old Trafford this summer.
But then the France international appeared to make a complete u-turn and declared that it would be wrong of him to force an exit in the wake of the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the transfer ban imposed on the club by FIFA.
Speaking after signing his new contract, Griezmann said on his club’s website:
‘The first thing that I want to do is apologise to the people who misunderstood my statements.
‘Maybe I expressed myself badly or someone wanted to make news where there wasn’t any, but since I came (to Atletico) I have given my all for my club, my team-mates and my coaching staff, and I’m very happy to live one more season with all of you.
‘I will thank them all (the fans) by giving my best on the pitch, as always.’
While the new deal will reportedly double Griezmann’s wages, his release clause of €100m was unusually left unchanged,
When asked about the contract by Cadena SER, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said:
“Yes, it’s one more year and the release clause will remain the same.
“The issue of the money is a private one. We have maintained a confidentiality agreement with respect to the money.
“I said many times that Griezmann would not leave. After months and months of reporting, time has proved me right.”
Atleti are banned from registering new players before January of next year after FIFA found them guilty of breaching regulations over the transfer of minors.
Diego Simeone’s side are nonetheless being linked with a number of possible reinforcements, including Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who says he has been told by manager Antonio Conte that he can leave.
I get the sense that if Atleti can get Lacazette or Costa that Griezmann could still be sold. I am not yet convinced that come September 1 that Antoine Griezmann is wearing the red of Manchester United and not that of Atletico Madrid.