Antoine Griezmann intends to clear up his future before the World Cup begins, saying after France’s draw with the United States on Saturday that he will reveal all this week.
Griezmann, 27, is the subject of a tug-of-war between Barcelona and his current club, Atletico Madrid. Barca hope to sign him on July 1, when his release clause drops to €100 million, while Atletico are trying to convince him to stay by offering an improved contract.
Barca’s public pursuit of Griezmann has angered Atletico, who reported them to FIFA in December for making an illegal approach for the player and followed up with a statement in May telling Barca “enough is enough.”
“It is good that you are following [the situation],” Griezmann told reporters after the 1-1 draw. “There is still one more week [until the World Cup starts], but I think we will know during the week.”
And, speaking to TF1’s Telefoot, Griezmann said the announcement will be made this week because France’s opener is against Australia on June 16.
Appearing alongside Griezmann, France coach Didier Deschamps joked that the player will be “staying in Spain” and teammate Kylian Mbappe said the only thing he knows that “[Griezmann] will be on the plane [to Russia].”
Catalunya Radio reported that Barca remain confident of signing Griezmann as coach Ernesto Valverde was reassured by the club’s hierarchy over a meal last week that the forward would be part of his squad next season.
However, Cadena Cope reported that Atletico are increasingly confident of getting Griezmann, who joined the club from Real Sociedad in 2014, to sign a new deal and are prepared to offer him €23m a year to stay.
After facing the U.S. on Saturday in Lyon, France are due to fly to their training base near Moscow on Sunday.
Deschamps prohibits players from undergoing negotiations during tournaments, which provides a further reason to believe that Griezmann’s future will be public knowledge before France begin the competition.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.