Griezmann denies Barcelona talks but sets deadline for future decision

The France international has rubbished reports suggesting transfer plans are in place, but does want his situation resolved before the World Cup

Antoine Griezmann insists Barcelona are not in talks to sign him from Atletico Madrid, but he does want a decision on his future to be made before the World Cup.

The France international, who spent much of 2017 being heavily linked with Manchester United, continues to spark speculation regarding a summer switch to Camp Nou.

Atletico have attempted to quash the gossip at regular intervals, with club president Enrique Cerezo announcing in March that he expects Griezmann to honour a contract through to 2022.

The rumours refuse to go away, though, and the 27-year-old has now been forced to deny that he and his representatives have opened discussions with Barca.

When told by Telefoot that it is their understanding that negotiations are at an advanced stage, Griezmann said: “I don't know where you get this information, but it is false.”

For now, the highly-rated frontman is focused solely on the present.

It is Griezmann’s intention to end the season as positively as possible, before then addressing the issue of his future before heading to Russia with the French national side.

“I want to be free and think only about the French team,” he said.

“I would like my future to be settled before the World Cup, otherwise, afterwards, we will have questions to the right and the left. I will continue as I am now, giving everything to the club.”

Griezmann has been in fine form over recent weeks, taking his goal tally for the season to 25.

He has recorded 17 efforts of that haul in 2018, with a slow start to the season which saw him suffer a transfer hangover amid intense talk of a move to England put to one side.

“Physically, I'm back,” he added.

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“Mentally, I'm better, and since January we can say that I have broken down the barriers.

“I had a difficult start to the season for several reasons. I expressed things wrongly and made mistakes.”

Griezmann will be offered another grand stage on which to maintain his fine form on Sunday when Atletico take in a derby clash with arch-rivals Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu.