The young French attacker, who impressed in La Liga last season and at the World Cup, has been lined up by Diego Simeone as a major summer signingEXCLUSIVE
By Pilar Suarez
Atletico Madrid are closing in on the €25 million signing of wantaway Real Sociedad star Antoine Griezmann.
Goal understands that negotiations to bring the 23-year-old to the Vicente Calderon began over a month ago but that the two Liga clubs are close to finalising a deal and confirmation could be imminent.
Although Griezmann's release clause is €30m, Real Sociedad are aware they are unlikely to get such an offer from any interested parties and are instead hoping to convince Atletico to part with €25m.
Atletico's desire to sign the France international, who impressed in his appearances at the World Cup, had largely gone under the radar but they look set to have beaten reported suitors Arsenal, Tottenham and Monaco to his signature.
Griezmann has been with Real Sociedad since 2005, when he arrived at youth level, and has a contract at the Anoeta until 2016, however he has ambitions to play at a club with whom he can consistently play Champions League football.
Atletico appealed to the forward as they showed under Diego Simeone last season - when they won La Liga and were runners up in the Champions League - that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the country and Europe.
Griezmann would follow striker Mario Mandzukic, signed from Bayern Munich earlier this month, as the latest high profile summer signing from the Rojiblancos, while Manchester United man Javier Hernandez also remains a possible target.