Griezmann snubs Barca to stay at Atletico

Rik Sharma
Antoine Griezmann has revealed he will stay with Atletico Madrid ahead of France's World Cup opener

Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is staying with the Europa League winners next season.

The French forward, currently at the World Cup in Russia where he will face Australia on Saturday, revealed his decision Thursday after strong interest from Barcelona, who wanted to sign him by paying his release clause of 100 million euros ($155m).

"I've decided to stay," said Griezmann, 27, in a documentary called The Decision on Spanish network Movistar.

"Everyone told me to go, to go. At Atletico everyone thinks I have already signed for Barca and it isn't like that.

"Winning the Europa League could be a 'now (let's win) the Champions League'. I received a message about the project and it's awesome.

"They are doing everything possible for the team to keep going so that we have more chance to win this Champions League at home. They are making a huge effort to bring in top players."

Atletico Madrid announced they had reached a deal with AS Monaco for winger Thomas Lemar, Griezmann's French teammate, on Tuesday.

Diego Simeone's side endured Champions League final defeats in 2014 and 2016 and are strengthening to try and win the trophy next season.

Griezmann is Atletico's top scorer for the last three seasons and his club reported Barcelona to FIFA in December 2017 over their pursuit of the forward.

The striker said he wanted to resolve his future ahead of the World Cup.