?Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has labelled last summer’s transfer saga with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as ‘water under the bridge’ ahead of their La Liga clash on Saturday evening.
Griezmann, 28, was the subject of intense interest from the Catalan side prior to France’s World Cup success last summer, before releasing a documentary entitled ‘The Decision’ which revealed his intention to remain at Atletico Madrid and sign a new deal.
Despite the snub, Bartomeu has insisted their is no ill feelings towards the Frenchman, who will play at the Camp Nou for the first time since his decision, as ?Atleti look to close the gap to ?Barcelona at the top of ?La Liga to five points.
Speaking to ?ESPN, Barca’s club president said: “The documentary about his decision is water under the bridge. It was spoken about a lot at the time. We have to look at the present, not the past.
“Each player weighs up what’s the best option for them. They make their own decisions. He stayed at Atletico, who are a big club in Europe, one of the best in UEFA’s rankings and [the team] we’re fighting against for La Liga this season.”
Griezmann has 17 goals and ten assists in 38 league and Champions League appearances this season, with finishing at the top of La Liga come the end of the season the only chance of finishing the season with more silverware, after securing the UEFA Super Cup with victory over Real Madrid prior to the beginning of this season.
Bartomeu was also asked about what kind of reception Griezmann should expect from fans inside the Camp Nou after snubbing Barcelona, with him stating they’ll be ‘within their rights’ to voice whatever their opinion is.
He added: “Barcelona fans are very democratic. The members are the owners of this club, and they are within their rights to have whatever opinion they want. There is freedom of expression at Camp Nou.”