The saga is nearing its end: Barcelona must decide on Griezmann

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He said: "Barcelona are now ready to pay €125M release clause for Antoine Griezmann".

The club posted a goodbye message from the player where he thanks the fans for the five years with the team. "Thank you for everything", he said.

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Griezmann is a World Cup victor, helping France win it all in Russian Federation last summer with a Bronze Ball performance, and he also helped lead Les Bleus to the Euro 2016 final, where they fell to Portugal on home soil. "I wanted to tell you that I have made the decision to leave, to face new things, new challenges".

Griezmann was closely linked with a move to Manchester United earlier in the season, but it now seems most likely he will remain in La Liga at Barcelona. "I believe that is what I need".

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Marca claims 2018 World Cup victor told the club that although he is grateful for the affection he has received since arriving from Real Sociedad four years ago, it is time for him to take on a new challenge elsewhere.

The announcement of Griezmann's Atletico departure comes a little over two months after his fellow countryman and Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti claimed he regretted not joining the Spanish champions. Since 2014, he's been at Atletico and has scored 133 goals in 252 games for the club, winning three trophies.

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