Atletico Madrid are to report Barcelona to FIFA over an alleged illegal approach for star striker Antoine Griezmann.
It has been widely reported that Atleti are preparing to make a formal complaint the governing body of world soccer about Barca contacting people connected to the French international, including his family members.
Griezmann, 26, almost left Atletico last summer but decided to remain in the Spanish capital and signed a new deal until the end of the 2021-22 season. It has been widely reported that he will join Barcelona next summer, with a director for the Catalan club, Guillermo Amor, revealing earlier this week that there could well have been an approach.
That has sparked this action by Atletico.
Contacting those close to Griezmann clearly breaks the transfer rules and recently we have seen teams across Europe becoming more willing to complain to the necessary parties when such instances take place.
Southampton complained to the Premier League and FA in the summer when they alleged that Liverpool had contacted Virgil Van Dijk illegally and the Reds then apologized in a statement and ended their pursuit of van Dijk immediately.
Griezmann has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Barca, from Atletico and what this may do is boost the chances of either United or PSG signing Griezmann in the summer.
With Atletico out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage, some suggest Griezmann could leave in January but it would be much more likely he will remain with the Spanish club until the summer transfer window when he will put himself in the shop window at the 2018 World Cup with the French national team.
Either way, it seems like Barca will have some serious questions to answer to, and for a club who only recently came out of a 12-month transfer ban for breaking regulations regarding the signing of youth players, you’d think they would be doing everything by the book these days.
If found guilty, Griezmann’s move to Barcelona would be in serious doubt and further sanctions could be imposed by FIFA. Atletico know all about those as they’re currently under a transfer ban for also breaking rules in signing overseas youngsters.
With the news coming in the lead up to El Clasico on Saturday where Barca take on Real Madrid, plus ahead of Jan. 1 when Atletico can begin to sign new players, it appears that Atletico are trying to turn up the heat on Barcelona as they sit in second place and six points behind Barca.