Antoine Griezmann said the time was right to join Barcelona after completing a long-awaited switch from Atletico Madrid.

The France forward has signed a five-year deal after Barca agreed to trigger his €120million release clause.

Griezmann was seemingly set to join Barca last year only to confirm during a television documentary he was staying at Atletico.

And the attacker acknowledged that U-turn in his first public comments since becoming a Barca player on Friday.

"When I was a boy, my dad taught me that trains don't come around just once," Griezmann said in a video posted on Twitter by Barcelona.

"Now it's time to take on the challenge of a new destination. Finally, our paths cross.

"I'll defend the Barca colours with all my determination and commitment. It's our time."

The saga does not appear to be over, however, as Atletico are insisting Barcelona should have paid €200m to activate his release clause. They are arguing the France international agreed terms with Barca before his clause dropped on July 1.

"Atletico Madrid believes the termination of the contract occurred before the end of last season due to events, acts and demonstrations carried out by the player and that is why it [the club] has already started procedures it considers appropriate for the defence of its rights and legitimate interests," said the club's statement.

Callum Wilson has signed a new four-year contract to end speculation he could leave Bournemouth.

England striker Wilson had been linked with Chelsea and West Ham, but has now committed his future to the Cherries through to 2023.

And Wilson, who has scored 58 goals in 148 appearances since joining from Coventry City in 2014, feels there is more to come.

"We've improved in all areas since I initially joined the club but there's still a long way to go," Wilson told Bournemouth's club website.

"While Bournemouth may be known as a smaller club, we've got some really big ambitions here. Everyone is pulling in the same direction towards those targets and goals.

"I feel like as an individual, my game is constantly improving here at the club. I want to continue that progress and reach even higher targets. I'm really excited about what the future holds."

Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake has also been linked with a move away, but chief executive Neill Blake is determined to retain Bournemouth's stars.

"Throughout his time at the club Callum has demonstrated incredible determination to succeed at the highest level - even in the face of adversity in the form of two season-ending injuries," Blake added.

"He has proved himself as a Premier League striker and is now beginning to establish himself at international level, and this contract is just reward for that.

"We have no desire to lose our best players and this is further evidence of the board's commitment to keep Bournemouth progressing year on year."

Juventus have completed the €26million signing of Genoa defender Cristian Romero and loaned the 21-year-old back to the Rossoblu.

A deal for Romero looked to be edging closer when Juve confirmed he was to have a medical on Tuesday, and he signed a five-year contract three days later.

The former Argentina Under-20 international only joined Genoa from boyhood club Belgrano last year for a reported €1.7m, but in his 27 Serie A appearances he sufficiently impressed to earn a big move.

He becomes the second young centre-back after Merih Demiral – also 21 – to sign for Juve during this transfer window, but Romero will return to Genoa in a season-long loan.

A Juve statement read: "Juventus announces that the agreement with Genoa for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Cristian Romero has been finalised for a consideration of €26million payable in three financial years.

"Juventus and the player have signed a five-year contract of employment until June 30, 2024.

"At the same time, Juventus has reached an agreement with Genoa for the free loan until June 30, 2020 of the registration rights of the same player and bonuses of up to €5.3m will be paid to Genoa on achieving specific sports performances."

Juve are also expected to soon complete the signing of highly rated Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, as they continue to prepare for a future without the ageing Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Sheffield United have broken the club's transfer record to land striker Callum Robinson from Preston North End.

The Blades are reported to have spent £8million on the Republic of Ireland international, who has signed a four-year deal.

It is the second time this month United have paid out a club record fee ahead of their Premier League return.

Luke Freeman joined from Queens Park Rangers for a reported £5m, while manager Chris Wilder has also agreed a new contract.

"Callum fits into our structure perfectly as we look to Championship players who we feel can be successful at Premier League level," Wilder said of 24-year-old Robinson.

"Callum is someone who was on our radar a number of years ago and he has progressed how we thought he would and hopefully there is plenty more to come.

"I feel Callum is a great age and what we have paid represents great value in the current market."

Robinson hit 12 goals in 27 Championship appearances for PNE last term.

Lyon have announced the signing of Joachim Andersen, who joins the club from Sampdoria.

Andersen was unveiled at a news conference on Friday, where Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed the fee could reach up to €30million.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Joachim," Aulas told reporters. "He was one of our recruitment priorities.

"We are very happy for his arrival and he has signed a five-year contract.

"The amount of the transfer is €24million with €6million bonuses, we want to go through a certain number of steps."

Andersen, 23, is yet to make a senior appearance for Denmark but has been capped at youth levels and included in full squads.

"It's a price between the two clubs, I just want to play and fulfil the ambitions of the club, it's the perfect environment to grow and grow," the defender said of his fee.

"I am very happy to be here at Lyon. I'm really looking forward to playing in my new colours. It's a fantastic club. I can't wait to see the city and the fans.

"I'm going to take a step back in my career here, it's a fantastic club, I wanted to play in the Champions League, I want to win titles too."

Sevilla's busy transfer window has continued with the permanent signing of former Manchester City midfielder Fernando from Galatasaray.

Fernando spent two years in Istanbul after being discarded by City and the 31-year-old will reportedly cost Sevilla €4.5million, signing a three-year contract.

According to reports, Galatasaray were reticent to sell the Brazilian, but ultimately caved after Sevilla sporting director Monchi met the midfielder's agent Jorge Mendes, with the Turkish giants said to have reportedly owed Fernando part of his salary.

Fernando is the eighth new face to arrive at Sevilla in a busy transfer window, following Munas Dabbur, Jules Kounde, Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Luuk de Jong and Sergio Reguilon, while Maximilian Wober's loan from Ajax also became permanent.

There are likely to be further arrivals as well, while Sergio Rico, Sergi Gomez, Simon Kjaer, Joris Gnagnon, Guilherme Arana, Sebastien Corchia, Roque Mesa, Aleix Vidal, Ibrahim Amadou and Nolito could be sold.

Sevilla finished sixth in LaLiga last term, qualifying for the Europa League, a competition they have won a record five times.

Valencia have confirmed the permanent signing of Denis Cheryshev from Villarreal.

Russia winger Cheryshev, who starred for Valencia on loan last term, has signed a three-year deal.

Valencia said in a statement on Friday his contract includes an €80million buyout clause.

The Copa del Rey winners have reportedly paid less than the €7m that is said to have been the initial asking price for an outright purchase.

Cheryshev, 28, was unable to play in Valencia's Copa final win over LaLiga champions Barcelona as he was injured.

One of the stars of last year's World Cup, he impressed enough in 2018-19 to earn a permanent move, one which has been set for completion since the announcement that an agreement in principle had been reached with Villarreal on June 29.

Antoine Griezmann has swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona after LaLiga's champions triggered his €120million release clause.

France star and World Cup winner Griezmann will link up with Lionel Messi at Camp Nou on a five-year deal that includes an €800m buy-out option, it was confirmed on Friday.

The 28-year-old turned down a move to Barca in June last year as he opted to extend his Atletico contract. However, Griezmann informed the Madrid side of his desire to leave the Spanish capital following five years.

Griezmann has now made the switch to Barca, joining fellow recruits Frenkie de Jong and Neto through the door as Ernesto Valverde's side eye a third consecutive LaLiga title.

The attacker – who was born in France and has spent his entire professional career in Spain – moved to Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014.

He won the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana during his time at Atletico.

Griezmann scored 15 LaLiga goals as Diego Simeone's side finished second behind Barca in 2018-19, while he netted 21 in all competitions.

Griezmann may not be the last high-profile forward to join Barca in this transfer window, with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar also linked with a return.

The Brazilian left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal two years ago, but rumours about a return to Spain have been constant throughout his time in Paris.

Barca revealed this month Neymar informed them he is eager to go move back, while PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed the forward is available for the right price after he failed to report for pre-season training.

Antoine Griezmann's €120million switch from Atletico Madrid is every inch the modern Barcelona blockbuster transfer – something that does the player and the club no credit at all.

A week ago, like clockwork, Atleti's statement arrived, expressing "the strongest disapproval of the behaviour of both [parties], especially FC Barcelona" as they accused LaLiga's champions of reaching terms with their most-prized forward in March.

The next part of the dance followed last Sunday, when Griezmann somewhat inevitably failed to turn up for training with Atletico. His no-show was very much in keeping with that of fellow France international Ousmane Dembele, who was suspended for going AWOL at Borussia Dortmund before joining Barca for €105m in August 2017.

During the same month, Philippe Coutinho was out of action with Liverpool, purportedly due to a back problem that did not prevent him from playing for Brazil at the start of the following September. It came to look more like a crude attempt to force the €160m move to Barcelona that arrived in January 2018.

Like Dembele and Coutinho, Griezmann is in part Barcelona's latest attempt to fill the void left by Neymar – an endeavour so fruitless the club appear to have concluded there is only one effective remedy.

The Brazilian superstar is reportedly ready to cut his reputational losses at Paris Saint-Germain and return to Catalonia. Of course, he didn't turn up for training this week.

Neymar's earth-shaking exit to PSG two years ago has not only defined who Barcelona's targets must be, but also how they must be sought. If Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board felt bullied by the Ligue 1 giants brazenly meeting the forward's €222m release clause, their response has been to become the biggest bullies in the playground.

Perhaps it is a coincidence that Barcelona's three most-expensive signings in their history have all effectively gone on strike to engineer a move, but there is a point at which it starts to look like an established plank of transfer policy and a grubby one at that.

It certainly jars with Barca's 'Mes que un club' ideals and its inference of some sort of higher moral standard. In fact, the present direction of travel is more in tune with peak-Galacticos era Real Madrid.

Of course, all transfer manoeuvrings stand and fall by results on the field. Over the past two seasons, form and fitness respectively have contributed towards Dembele and Coutinho failing. It mattered little in LaLiga, where Ernesto Valverde's cool-headed pragmatism brought back-to-back titles.

But in the Champions League there have been collapses of crushing humiliation at Roma and Liverpool. Griezmann's job will be to guide Lionel Messi to a fifth title in Europe's premier competition when the waters become choppy, many of his new team-mates having shown themselves to be incapable of manning the life rafts.

A starring role in France's 2018 World Cup triumph, having steered Atleti to Europa League glory in the same year, displayed he undoubtedly has the pedigree to do so. An effortlessly stylish footballer, Griezmann's inner steel harnessed in his years under Diego Simeone also should not be underestimated. He should lift a Barca that downed tools at the Stadio Olimpico and Anfield.

On the other hand, the 28-year-old's fondness for starring in his own documentaries hints at a soon-to-be untamed ego that could come into conflict with Valverde, establishing further common ground with Dembele alongside playing Fortnite and setting your own training schedule.

It will be fascinating to see how Griezmann's move to Camp Nou plays out and football to dazzle and delight will follow if things click. If they don't, the conduct of player and club mean plenty will be ready to delight in the failure.

Barcelona have signed Antoine Griezmann after the France international announced he would leave Atletico Madrid, despite having signed a new five-year contract last June.

The 28-year-old, who joined Atleti from Real Sociedad for approximately €30million in July 2014, has been the club's top goalscorer across all competitions in each of his five seasons in the capital.

His exploits took him to fifth in the club's list of all-time leading scorers with 133 in all competitions, but the World Cup-winning forward brought much more than just goals to the Rojiblancos.

A detailed look at his season-by-season statistics underline his huge importance to Diego Simeone's team over the past five years, but do they also indicate his best football may be behind him?
 

2014-15: Stepping into Costa's boots

Griezmann had big boots to fill when he arrived at Atletico, with Diego Costa having scored 36 goals in all competitions as the club won LaLiga in the previous season.

But the France star rose to the task, scoring 25 times across 53 games with a shot conversion rate of 22.52 per cent.

Ably supported by Mario Mandzukic (20 goals) and Fernando Torres (six), Griezmann helped the club win the Supercopa de Espana and finish third.

2015-16: Griezmann's most prolific campaign

With an excellent season under his belt, Griezmann settled into his groove in 2015-16 and plundered 32 goals in all competitions as Simeone's side went all the way to the Champions League final again.

They lost on penalties to Real Madrid, with Griezmann missing from 12 yards in normal time, which rather took the shine off a fine campaign. Overall, he managed 71 shots on target compared to 47 in the previous season and increased his shot conversion rate to 24.24 per cent.

 

2016-17: Gameiro partnership blossoms

Atletico spent a reported €32million on Kevin Gameiro ahead of 2016-17 and he and Griezmann combined to score 42 goals between them in all competitions.

The bulk of those strikes (26) came from Griezmann, who also doubled his assist tally from the previous season, laying on 12 goals for team-mates of which eight came in LaLiga.

 

2017-18: Silverware at last

Griezmann added a Europa League winners' medal to his trophy cabinet in 2017-18 while helping Atletico to a second-placed finish in LaLiga.

The season was his second best in terms of goal output, with 29 goals in all competitions and an Atletico career-high 13 assists to tee him up for a glorious World Cup campaign with Les Bleus.

2018-19: Past his peak?

Griezmann turned down the opportunity to leave Atletico before the 2018-19 season commenced and went on to have one of his most disappointing seasons in Madrid.

Simeone's men won the UEFA Super Cup but were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Juventus and failed to prevent Barcelona from winning LaLiga with three games to spare.

On a personal level, Griezmann scored 15 league goals and 21 in all competitions – both his poorest tallies in a single season for the club – and his shot conversion rate dropped to 13.64 per cent in LaLiga and 15.44 per cent overall, the lowest since he left La Real.

Only time will tell if he can rediscover his best form next season, when he will be lining up against Atleti for Barca.

After what feels like years of flirting and transfer speculation, Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barcelona player and it is a move that could ruffle a few feathers at Camp Nou.

Griezmann's arrival comes 13 months after the France star committed his future to Atletico in a documentary, rebuffing Barca and signing a new five-year contract at the time.

But, with Atletico's season fading away in May, Griezmann and the Madrid club published a video to Twitter in which the forward confirmed his desire to leave.

Barca's failure in the Champions League and Copa del Rey was proof of a need for Ernesto Valverde's squad to be improved and there can be little doubt his arrival achieves that.

However, there are reasons for trepidation for several of Griezmann's new team-mates, as we have examined…

 

Philippe Coutinho

Despite a promising start, it is fair to say Coutinho's time at Camp Nou has not gone to plan since joining from Liverpool for a reported €160m in January 2018. The Brazil international has failed to nail down a regular spot in midfield or attack, starting only 22 league games in 2018-19, often filling in either role with minimal success to make him a frequent target for jeers. If Barca see Coutinho as more of a forward, there may not be space for him with Griezmann's arrival, with first-team opportunities likely to be even trickier to come by. Linked with a move, the former Liverpool star would not be short of suitors, particularly in England.

Ousmane Dembele

Like Coutinho, Dembele was brought in as part of the post-Neymar splurge. While the winger is undoubtedly talented and has shown flashes of his potential, his Barca career has been interrupted by injuries and reports of immaturity. Few can argue Griezmann is not a model professional, even if his behaviour over the past year or so has angered Atleti and his new employers. Perhaps, as an international team-mate and fellow World Cup-winner, Griezmann might just be the influence Dembele, whose move could eventually be worth €145m, needs to find his best.

Luis Suarez

In the opening months of last season Suarez showed signs of decline, as he endured a couple of uncharacteristic droughts. Thankfully for Barca he recovered and has managed to score 21 goals in LaLiga, though his form in the Champions League remains a concern, the Uruguayan netting just five times in his past 29 games in the competition.

While there is no suggestion Griezmann is set to replace Suarez, the fact the Frenchman could fill in for him and allow him more rest can only be a good thing, particularly with the former Ajax star now 32 years old. However, for the two to co-exist, they may need to bury the hatchet, with Suarez unimpressed by Griezmann's efforts to show respect to Uruguay - a country he professes to love - after his goal against them for France at the World Cup.

 

Lionel Messi

The main man, the superstar and the one who makes everything tick. None of that will change if Griezmann arrives. Messi was inspirational again last season, scoring 36 times in 34 LaLiga games. He was used a little more sparingly and Griezmann's potential arrival could allow him more rest, but the Argentine's status as top dog will certainly remain either way. Nevertheless, another superstar forward might just alleviate some of the goal-scoring burden.

Malcom

A transfer that promised much has yielded little. Brazilian winger Malcom is almost certain to leave Barca over the next month or so, and his departure will surely be hastened now a deal for Griezmann has been struck. A gifted player that Barca pipped Roma to at the last minute in July 2018, it has been pretty clear from the outset that he does not have Valverde's faith. Links with Sevilla soon vanished after Monchi - the scorned sporting director of the Giallorossi last year - returned to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, though he will likely have plenty of options should the Catalan decide to offload him.

Antoine Griezmann has swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona after LaLiga's champions triggered his €120million release clause.

A lawyer representing Antoine Griezmann has arrived at LaLiga headquarters to pay his Atletico Madrid release clause and start the process of his move to Barcelona.

A man identified as the France star's solicitor was filmed by Cope arriving at the league's offices in Madrid around midday on Friday.

Atletico are expected to make an announcement later to confirm the €120million buyout clause has been deposited, thereby releasing Griezmann from his contract.

The forward is then likely to finalise a move to Barca in the coming hours, with reports in Catalonia suggesting he will be presented at Camp Nou as early as Sunday.

Griezmann has long been expected to join the LaLiga champions despite signing a new Atletico contract after rejecting Barca advances last year.

The 28-year-old will become their second most expensive signing behind Philippe Coutinho, who joined from Liverpool for a fee in the region of €145m in January 2018.

Griezmann scored 15 LaLiga goals last term as Atletico finished second behind Barca in the title race.

Bayern Munich have to "wait and see" whether a possible deal to sign Manchester City star Leroy Sane can be agreed, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says.

Sane has long been earmarked as one of Bayern's top choices to replace veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who left at the end of last season.

President Uli Hoeness and head coach Niko Kovac have spoken highly of the Germany international, who had to battle for a place in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up in 2018-19.

Any potential deal appears a long way from coming to fruition but Rummenigge is nonetheless keeping his ear to the ground in case Sane makes it clear he wishes to move during Bayern's pre-season trip to the United States.

"He wanted to think about his future on holiday. We have to wait and see if something moves on. We are ready," he told Bild.

"The transfer window is open until September 2. Nothing has been decided at all yet. The spatial distance will of course increase [because of the USA trip], but that's no problem at all."

Bayern have also been linked with a bid for Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele as they look to bolster their wide options for the new season.

The France international could be sold to accommodate Antoine Griezmann, who is expected to join from Atletico Madrid in the coming days.

However, former Bayern star Lothar Matthaus has advised them against signing Dembele, who went on strike to force a move away from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.

Paul Pogba was among the Manchester United stars to model the new away kit for the 2019-20 season, despite continued speculation over his future.

The France international is eager for a new challenge and hopes to leave Old Trafford before the new campaign gets underway, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

However, Pogba is taking part in United's pre-season duties in Australia and latest reports suggest he is unwilling to damage his relationship with the club by trying to force them into a sale.

The 26-year-old has now appeared as part of the official release of United's latest shirt - a "savannah-toned" jersey inspired by the aesthetics of Manchester's artistic Northern Quarter.

Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay were the men's senior players to be part of the kit reveal, as was Nemanja Matic, who has been linked with Inter and AC Milan.

United said the shirt is "influenced by the unique artwork of the Northern Quarter, the city is embedded deep within the design as the base colour is overlaid with a subtle pattern".

It will be worn for the first time on Saturday, when they face Perth Glory in a pre-season friendly in Western Australia.

Pogba is likely to play some part in the match, as are new signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku, another player linked with a move away, are facing a battle to be fully fit.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side then face Leeds United at Optus Stadium before heading to Singapore for an International Champions Cup match with Inter, who have reportedly begun talks over a possible deal for Lukaku.

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