FC Barcelona president Josep María Bartomeu alongside Enric Tombas and Oscar Grau yesterday signed a document to validate the payment of €120m from Barcelona's accounts. This is clearly the amount needed to deposit Antoine Griezmann's buyout clause with LaLiga to free him from his contract with Atletico Madrid.
FC Barcelona, according to SPORT sources, have explained where the €120m is coming from. They will prove to they haven't taken out a new line of credit to pay for the deal. Barça claim that these €120m have come from the club's personal funds and all that was necessary was to change the current lines of credit they had. This is to ensure that any major operation the club needs to make, there's money available.
It's worth remembering that buyout clauses are no longer subject to VAT or other taxes. The person who is under contract is the one who needs to pay his buyout clause. However, it doesn't have to be in person and, as is the case for Griezmann, can be done by a lawyer with permission of the player.
FC Barcelona had originally tried to negotiate with Atletico Madrid in order to avoid going through LaLiga. Barça were even open to paying €127m, more than his buyout clause, as a sweetener to agree a different structure of payment. However this was rejected by Atletico and they insisted that Barça pay the full clause. Nelson Semedo was also mentioned in talks, this time by Atletico, but Barça said no.
Back to training on Monday
Unless there's a late change of plans, Barcelona will confirm the payment with LaLiga today.
Whatever happens, the transfer saga will be concluded by Monday at the latest. Barça want Griezmann to travel to the city from Ibiza on Sunday in a private plane and undergo a medical on Monday morning. The plan is for him to sign his contract alongside Bartomeu before holding a press conference inside the Camp Nou. This is because the pitch is currently being re-laid.
If everything goes ahead as planned, the French striker will be available for Ernesto Valverde's afternoon training session.