Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann completed his long-awaited move to Barcelona on Friday after they paid his €120m release clause. Spanish club Real Sociedad, however, are the real winners of the 27-year old’s big-money move to the Camp Nou.
As part of a clause inserted in Griezmann’s contract following his €30m switch from the Anoeta in 2014, Atletico Madrid are entitled to pay a 20% sell-on fee to Real Sociedad. As a result, the Frenchman’s first club will earn a fee close to €24m from his move to Barcelona.
More good news for Real Sociedad is that the fee could rise upto €32m as Atletico Madrid are currently pursuing a legal battle with Barcelona over the transfer fee, claiming that an agreement between the two clubs took place back in March.
As per the Los Rojiblancos’ official statement, “The amount deposited by Barcelona is insufficient to meet his [Antoine Griezmann’s] release clause, since it is obvious that the agreement of the player and Barcelona was closed before the aforementioned clause was reduced from 200 million euros to 120 million euros.”
Antoine Griezmann grew to fame after his spell at Real Sociedad saw him score 52 goals in all competitions over five seasons. The Frenchman was promoted to the first team at the age of 18 following four years at the club’s youth academy. Griezmann single-handedly led his side to La Liga promotion in 2010 and helped them achieve Champions League qualification in 2013.
As a result, Sociedad are planning to honour and pay homage to their former player, who has not only brought the club immense success in the form of Spanish-top flight football and European qualification, but also earned them over €50m from his successive transfers.
Antoine Griezmann thanked Real Sociedad in his official unveiling as Barcelona player. “I want to thank Real Sociedad, they have given me my first professional contract and they believed in me. I also would like to thank Atlético Madrid and Simeone. They all helped me to become the player I am today,” he said.
Other prime examples of such deals are Queens Park Rangers earning £8m from a 20% sell-on clause when Raheem Sterling switched from Liverpool to Manchester City in a £49m deal. Chelsea, too, earned £10m from Kevin De Bruyne’s transfer to the reigning Premier League champions from Wolfsburg in the same transfer window.
Southampton, however, could not benefit from Gareth Bale’s then-world record £86m transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, missing out on a potential sum of £20m. The Saints had initially inserted a sell-on clause in the Welshman’s contract, however, their financial constraints meant that had to waive it off in exchange of a £3m amount from Spurs.
Real Sociedad, with the incoming €24m fee, could build on their already busy transfer window this summer. New manager Imanol Alguacil has already acquired attacking midfielder Christian Portu from relegated side Girona in a 10.5m deal, striker Alexander Isak for 4.5m from Borussia Dortmund and highly-rated Real Madrid youngster Martin Odegaard on loan.