Barcelona will hold internal discussions with Gerard Pique following Antonio Griezmann’s decision to stay at Atletico Madrid, says club’s vice president Jordi Mestre.
According to reports, Griezmann was set to join the La Liga champions after the World Cup but instead, he extended his stay at Atleti in a deal which will keep him at the club until 2023. The French international confirmed he would stay in Madrid in a documentary on Movistar Plus, which was produced by Pique’s investment company Kosmos. After the broadcast, Pique tweeted thanking Griezmann and wished him well for the future. Since then, the Spaniard has been forced to defend himself, claiming he had no involvement in Griezmann’s decision other than to suggest it be filmed.
However, speaking before Eric Abidal’s official unveiling as the club’s new sporting director, Barca vice-president Mestre expressed his displeasure with Pique’s actions, as well as those of Griezmann’s international team-mate Samuel Umtiti, who shared the documentary on his social media channels.
“We will speak with [Pique] and Umtiti internally after the World Cup about what happened but we won’t make any more public comments. We feel bad for the supporters who have felt disappointed with the way it happened. The president spoke with Pique to tell him that his involvement provoked surprise and discomfort at club and among supporters,” he said.
“We respect Griezmann’s decision to renew with Atletico as we respect any player’s right to choose their future. We want committed players who have decided they want to be a success here above anything else,” he added.
Meanwhile, Barca could find themselves on the end of an official complaint from Atleti, who have been outraged by the Catalan giants’ conduct during the saga. Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed in May he had held talks with Griezmann’s representatives, and the documentary affirmed these claims.
“We will decide whether or not to file a complaint against Barcelona for having negotiated with Griezmann,” Atleti chief executive office Miguel Angel Gil Marin told Spanish publication Ser Deportivos.
“We have proof of contact. Griezmann is the protagonist with us, in Barcelona, he would be a soldier in [Lionel] Messi’s service.”