Former France international Christophe Dugarry says Antoine Griezmann would be a “gift” for Barcelona if they manage to sign him from Atletico Madrid for €100 million this summer.
Griezmann, 27, currently has a €200m buyout clause in his contract but it will be halved on July 1, which is when Barca are expected to swoop for the French forward.
The Catalan club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has refused to speak about Griezmann but has said he will talk about transfers when June ends.
Atletico, meanwhile, have criticised Barca’s “inappropriate” pursuit of their player as they do everything they can to convince him to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“[Griezmann] has offers on the table,” Dugarry, who played for Barca himself in the late 1990s, told RMC. “His release clause is €100m and it’s up to him to decide. He should do so before the World Cup, that would be the ideal situation.
“It’s a mountain of money, but for Griezmann it’s a gift. All the clubs in the world want him, so it’s up to him to decide.”
Griezmann is currently with the France squad preparing for this summer’s World Cup in Russia along with Barca players Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele.
“He is a fantastic player,” the defender said about his international teammate in a news conference. “We all know the quality has and he would be an important player in any team. He could do good things for us at Barcelona.”
As well as signing Griezmann, Barca also plan to tie down Umtiti to a new contract this summer.
The centre-back’s current terms feature a buyout clause of €60m, sparking interest from, among other clubs, Manchester United.
However, Umtiti says he’s hopeful of penning a new deal before the World Cup starts — although there’s nothing new to report at the moment.
“There’s no news,” he said. “I keep an eye on my mobile but nothing’s advanced. It’s important to resolve this issue before the World Cup, although if it’s not possible, it wouldn’t bother me. For my part, there will be [an agreement].”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.