Fernando Torres has spoken out about Antoine Griezmann’s touted move to Barcelona after the Catalan giants were reported over an alleged illegal approach.
The France international has been mooted as a January transfer target for La Blaugrana, and reports earlier in the week had suggested that Diego Simeone’s side had made a complaint to FIFA over an apparent approach from Barca for Griezmann’s signature.
Speaking to Radio Marca (via Sport) about the growing saga, Torres stated that he did not suspect that Ernesto Valverde’s team had done anything untoward before revealing that he hoped Griezmann would opt to stay at Wanda Metropolitano.
He said: "It's not a secret that it always happens... but I'm not saying it's the case here. Atletico can sign and maintain the world’s best players, as we have shown.
“Griezmann is still here at the club and we all want him to stay of course, but you would have to ask him on his future and what he wants to do next."
Barcelona’s relations director Guillermo Amor had told TV station Movistar+ that Barcelona had “maybe” made an approach for Griezmann ahead of the winter window and it is his comments which have led to Atletico to issue a formal complaint.
FIFA confirm they've received complaint from Atletico Madrid about alleged illegal approach by Barcelona for striker Antoine Griezmann— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) December 19, 2017
Football’s world governing body will now take on all of the evidence presented by Los Rojiblancos before deciding if they should charge Barcelona for breaching their rules. If La Liga’s current leaders are found guilty, it could have massive repercussions on their other transfer dealings if FIFA hits them with a transfer embargo.
Such a move would end any immediate planned swoop for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, as well as Griezmann, and likely cause a frosty relationship to develop between Barcelona and Atletico in the future.
Simeone has spoken about Griezmann potentially departing Atletico at some point in the near future, and the one-time Manchester United target would arguably be mad to spurn Barca’s advances if they managed to try and entice him to Camp Nou.