Atletico Madrid & Monaco step up Griezmann interest

The winger has a €30m (£23.7m) release clause in his Real Sociedad contract, though the French club are more likely to pay the full amount than Diego Simeone's Atleti
By Duncan Castles

Atletico Madrid and Monaco have both made moves to sign France international Antoine Griezmann, Goal has learned.

The 23-year-old winger started three of his nation's five World Cup finals matches and has also attracted the attention of several Premier League sides, including Arsenal.

Aware of the interest from some of Europe's leading clubs, Griezmann has declined to extend his contract at Real Sociedad, which is understood to include a €30 million (£23.7m) release clause.

While newly crowned Spanish champions Atleti would prefer not to meet that price, Russian-owned Monaco expect to have significant funds available again this summer with Real Madrid targeting both playmaker James Rodriguez and centre-forward Radamel Falcao.

Monaco insist that they do not wish to sell either of a pair recruited at a combined transfer-fee cost of €105m (£83m) a year ago, but are aware that both have encouraged Madrid's interest.

Despite breaking Barcelona and Madrid's stranglehold on the Primera Division title and coming within seconds of winning the Champions League, Atletico have suffered so far this window, losing Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis to Chelsea, with more exits expected.

Griezmann took the unusual step of leaving France to join Sociedad's academy at the age of 14. He has been a first-team regular for five seasons, scoring 46 times in 179 Spanish League appearance.

Selected for France's national team for the first time in February, he has scored three times in eight games under Didier Deschamps' leadership.