Barcelona chiefs will meet with their Atletico Madrid counterparts in the next few days to complete a deal for Antoine Griezmann, according to reports in Catalonia.
The Frenchman, 27, recently confirmed his future would be decided before the start of the World Cup.
The Nou Camp has seemed his most likely destination over the past few months, despite Atletico’s determination to keep him.
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And Sport report Barcelona want it sorted sooner rather than later.
However, they do not want Griezmann’s arrival to break their wage structure — and that means they are likely to offer him a salary cut, but with performance-based bonuses.
They are also keen to maintain a good working relationship with Atletico.
French players at Barcelona
Rene Victor Fenouillere — 1902-1903
Henry Normand — 1908-09
Jim Carlier — 1913-14
Maurice Bigue — 1913-14
Jean Verdoux — 1917-18
Peijean — 1928
Jules Robisco — 1948
Lucien Muller — 1965-68
Laurent Blanc — 1996-97
Christophe Dugarry — 1997-98
Frederic Dehu — 1999-2000
Emmanuel Petit — 2000-01
Philippe Christanval — 2001-03
Ludovic Giuly — 2004-07
Ludovic Sylvestre — 2006
Lilian Thuram — 2006-08
Eric Abidal — 2007-13
Seydou Keita — 2008-12
Thierry Henry — 2008-10
Jeremy Mathieu — 2014-17
Lucas Digne — 2016-present
Samuel Umtiti — 2016-present
Ousmane Dembele — 2017-present
That is why club directors will meet face-to-face in the coming days, with Barcelona prepared to pay above the buy-out clause but stagger the payments in two installments.
And, finally, they do not want to make anything official before July 1.
Barca want Griezmann’s transfer fee to be included in their losses for 2018-19, rather than the current campaign.
The Frenchman was close to joining Manchester United last summer but stayed at Atletico after Fifa upheld the transfer ban on the Rojiblancos.