Barcelona deny Griezmann deal


Reports had emerged on Saturday that the two Spanish clubs had agreed to a 'secret pact' which entailed either party having to pay compensation if a deal failed to be agreed, with personal terms said to be finalized - with only a transfer fee to be negotiated.

However, Barcelona later took the unusual step of releasing a statement to deny the reports from the Catalan newspaper.

"FC Barcelona denies reports that have appeared in recent hours in various media referring to Atletico Madrid player Antoine Griezmann, alleging links to our club", the statement read.

"FC Barcelona expresses its displeasure at these events and reiterates all its respect towards the institution of Atlético de Madrid".

The Brazilian joined from Liverpool earlier this month for a massive £142m.

"I think we played well", Simeone said.

Girona played the second half with backup goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz after starter Yassine Bounou asked to be substituted with an injury late in the first half.

Sport says it believes Griezmann's transfer will take place after the World Cup in Russian Federation, where he will have a key role for France, who are among the favourites.

Another Catalan daily, Mundo Deportivo, reported in December that the player's family had lunch with the Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to smooth the way for the transfer.

Atletico won't be too disappointed to lose their star striker, considering Diego Costa recently re-joined them after a stint at Chelsea.

Barcelona have held a long interest in signing the French midfielder but Madrid have so far held firm in keeping hold of their star player.