Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy missed out on signing Antoine Griezmann by €7m before his 2014 transfer to Atletico Madrid.
That transfer miss has been confirmed by the France star’s former mentor and representative Eric Olhats. Griezmann, 30, made his name at Atletico and played there for five seasons before moving to Barcelona. But it was at Real Sociedad that he was first spotted. Griezmann, who has scored over 200 career goals, came through the ranks of Real Sociedad’s academy. He was then promoted into their first team in 2009, hitting 20 goals in his final season before moving to Atletico.
It could all have been different though had Levy sanctioned a €30m bid for the forward.
Griezmann’s form for La Real convinced Spurs to make an offer. The diminutive attacker had a €30m release clause in his contract, but Spurs did not match the buyout.
“Tottenham came for Griezmann and offered €23m, but Real [Sociedad] demanded the 30 of his release clause, period. And he did not go away,” Olhats told Mundo Deportivo via Sport Witness.
That allowed Diego Simeone’s side to complete the World Cup winner’s signing in 2014. Atletico agreed to meet his buyout clause and Griezmann signed a six-year contract.
As part of that deal Real Sociedad asked for 20% of the future transfer fee, which they received when Los Rojiblancos sold Griezmann to Barca in 2019.
The France international notched 133 goals from 257 outings for Atletico.
The fee was a staggering €120m, as stated in his buy-out clause.
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Messi spat suggestion
An interview given by his former agent and uncle alleged that Barca legend Lionel Messi was not welcoming to Griezmann on his arrival.
However, the player distanced himself from those words.
Speaking on Universe Valdano in quotes carried by Marca, he said: “I said in my presentation with Barcelona that I didn’t want to speak off the pitch but on it, but I think it’s time to put things right.
“I’ve been putting up with things and comments for a long time, and enough is enough. I stopped having a relationship with (former representative Eric Olhats) the day I got married.
“He speaks because neither my father or my sister will speak to the press. Leo knows I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. My uncle doesn’t know how football works, and in the end the journalist got that phrase out of him.
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