Having stuck by Atletico in 2017 during the club's transfer ban and later famously snubbing Barcelona in 'La Decision' last summer, in May Griezmann announced his intention to finally leave the club after five years in Madrid.
The Catalans were immediately installed as favourites, but the saga has been the source of worsening relations between the two La Liga clubs, with Atletico accusing both Barça and Griezmann of a 'lack of respect' in a strongly worded public statement.
And with Barça famously struggling for cash, Mundo Deportivo (MD) has now reported that the transfer could be in jeopardy over Atletico's refusal to negotiate a payment structure.
The report explains that Atletico made it clear to Barça when officials met a week ago that they would not negotiate the buyout clause. Yet when Barça made a counter proposal it was apparently only to divide the €120m payment.
An Atletico source even told MD: "It is understood that if it is a negotiation, the interested club should propose something more than what is on the table beforehand. Asking for a fractured payment of the clause is not negotiating, because you are not offering anything additional."
If Barça want to persist over a payment structure, it is said that Atletico will now only listen if the reigning La Liga champions present a new proposal that offers something more in exchange for being allowed to pay it off in smaller instalments. But with MD also noting that Barça are unwilling to go any higher than €120m, it seems the situation is at an impasse.
Regardless of the Griezmann saga, a separate Mundo Deportivo report claims that Barça also want a 'number nine' as back-up for Luis Suarez, noting the benefit Divock Origi and Fernando Llorente offered Liverpool and Tottenham respectively in the Champions League last season.
No target is named, but MD explains that it is a matter of deciding whether to pursue someone in the transfer market or instead promote 19-year-old Barcelona B forward Abel Ruiz to the first team. R