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Barcelona deny Antoine Griezmann reports of deal for Atletico Madrid forward

Barcelona deny Antoine Griezmann reports of deal for Atletico Madrid forward

Barcelona issue a statement denying that the club were interested in signing Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.

Reports have emerged this morning that the La Liga leaders have an agreement with the Manchester United target.

However, Barcelona have moved to end those rumours this lunchtime with a statement posted on their official website.

Barcelona added it had "objections" to the reports "and reiterates its full respect" for Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona, whose stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta are all in their thirties, signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for 105 million euros last summer, but the 20-year-old French rising star's campaign has been marred by injury.

Griezmann, who has a release clause of £889million in his contract, has been strongly linked to both Barcelona and Manchester United.

And Mundo Deportivo suggested an agreement was in place which would see Griezmann take the number seven shirt at Barcelona next season.

Philippe Coutinho joined from Liverpool this month in 180-million-euro ($220 million, Sh22 billion) deal.

The draw at the Wanda Metropolitano means that Barca can move 11 points clear with a win at Real Betis on Sunday and nearly end discussion over the La Liga title.

Atletico, who also conceded two late goals at home to lose 2-1 at Sevilla in the Copa del Rey earlier this week, sit eight points behind Barca, who have played a game fewer.

The Argentine legend, who penned new lucrative terms with the Catalan giants in November, has a mega release clause - in the region of €700m - which dwarfs any other player at the club and is only bettered by the €1bn releases clauses for Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benezema at Real Madrid.

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