Atletico Madrid have offered Antoine Griezmann around €10 million more than Barcelona in a last-ditch bid to keep him at the club.
The 27-year-old France international meets up with his French team-mates on Wednesday with his future still — publicly at least — undecided.
Barcelona are sure a deal that has been in place since the tail-end of last year will still go through. But while there is silence from Griezmann they are nervous about a similar situation which happened last summer, when they believed they had signed Marco Verratti from PSG only for him to stay in France.
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Atletico Offer Griezmann €10m More Than Barca To Stay
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Spain have announced their 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup with coach Julen Lopetegui choosing to omit Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata from his final selection
Premier League stars David De Gea, David Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Nacho Monreal are all included along with Barcelona’s outgoing midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Stalwarts Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets make the cut while Diego Costa continues his comeback by sealing a spot on the plane.
But there is no room for Morata after an underwhelming season for the 25-year-old at Stamford Bridge since joining from Real Madrid in the summer. Other notable absentees include Morata’s Chelsea team-mate Marcos Alonso, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Atletico Madrid midfielder Vitolo.
The stadium DJ who had spent the last ten minutes drowning out the Barcelona supporters finally fell silent and the microphone was at last passed to the man of a million passes – Andres Iniesta.
He was in tears as a video of his greatest moments played on various screens around the Camp Nou stadium he has graced for 15 seasons.
‘These have been 22 unbelievable years and it has been an honour to defend this club – for me the best club in the world,’ he said.
Andres Iniesta bowed out of Barcelona with a win as Philippe Coutinho’s golazo sealed a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Iniesta’s final appearance for Barca was initially marred by Raul Navas dodging a red card for a lunge on Ousmane Dembele, but the midfielder was nonetheless able to walk off Camp Nou for the last time as a winner thanks to Coutinho, whose wonder strike promised a bright future for the Catalans.
The veteran started alongside usual suspects Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in the middle of the park, but Lionel Messi was once more rested for Dembele.
Fernando Torres bid farewell to his boyhood club Atletico Madrid by scoring twice in the team’s 2-2 draw against Eibar in the final round of La Liga on Sunday.
A few days after lifting his first trophy with the club in the Europa League, the veteran striker got to celebrate his final two goals.
34-year-old Torres scored into an open net after a breakaway just before half-time, then skipped past two defenders before sending the ball beyond the goalkeeper in the 60th minute.
Fans wildly celebrated both goals at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the last La Liga encounter of the 2017-18 campaign.
Gareth Bale looks set to face Liverpool in next week’s Champions League final after starting, scoring and starring in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Villarreal in their last game before they travel to Ukraine.
He looked nowhere near the Kiev starting XI two weeks ago but a goal against Barcelona at the Nou Camp and two in a 6-0 win over Celta Vigo have given him back all the old confidence.
He featured from the start in Real Madrid’s final league game of the season as Zinedine Zidane appeared to test drive a possible Champions League final line-up with Bale in a front three alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who was back from his ankle injury, and Isco.
Andres Iniesta has admitted he is ‘nervous’ ahead of his last game for Barcelona this Sunday.
The Barca captain is to bring to an end a 22-year career at the Nou Camp and is yet to announce who he will be playing for next season.
Iniesta will lead Barca out at the Nou Camp for the final time when they host Real Sociedad this weekend, and believes his feelings may get the better of him.
‘I’m nervous about Sunday, as I’ve already been telling some people,’ admitted the 34-year-old to Spanish radio station RAC 1.
In case anyone had any doubts, Cholismo is still very much alive, and Diego Simeone can now bask in the glory of having won his sixth title as Atletico Madrid coach.
After three seasons in which, despite competing with the best, they hadn’t won any titles, the rojiblancos savoured the win over Lyon.
“The best way to win again is to keep plugging away,” the Coach said after the game.
“We came close in two Champions League Finals, last year in the semi-finals… We lost one by two minutes, another by penalties, and we got up again. ”
In appearance number 403 for Atletico Madrid, Fernando Torres was able to feel the sensation of finally lifting a major trophy with his boyhood club.
Torres only came on for the last couple of minutes against the French side on Wednesday, proving that his coach doesn’t do sentiment.
“I’ve never given him anything,” Simeone said to reporters in his post-match press conference.
“For Fernando, it’s a dream come true [winning the Europa League], I hope the crowd explodes on Sunday, he’s a fantastic kid, everything he’s achieved has been earned by him.”
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Fernando Torres Finally Lifts A Major Trophy For Atletico
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Antoine Griezmann scored twice as Atletico Madrid swept aside Marseille in Lyon to win the Europa League for the third time in nine years.
France forward Griezmann opened the scoring by punishing Andre Zambo Anguissa’s poor touch to coolly slot home, then casually dinked in a second.
Captain Gabi drilled in the third goal late on as Atletico again lifted the trophy they also won in 2010 and 2012.
The outcome could have been different had Marseille forward Valere Germain taken an early chance, before Griezmann’s lethal finishing allowed Atletico to take control.