Barcelona have confirmed that they have no agreement in place to sign Antoine Griezmann after reports surfaced on Saturday (20 January) suggesting the La Liga leaders had sealed a deal with the Atletico Madrid star.
Spanish publication Sport reported that the former Real Sociedad forward was set to become Ernesto Valverde's first signing of the upcoming summer transfer window. The Catalan club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu is a big fan of the player and is leading from the front to help his side secure the France international's signature.
According to the report, Griezmann and Barcelona have agreed a "secret pact" that will see the former join the latter in the summer. Should either of them decide to break the agreement, then it will lead to financial loss for the party responsible.
The Spanish giants have now released a statement on their official website to deny those claims.
"FC Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atletico Madrid player, Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club," the statement read.
"FC Barcelona expresses its objections in the face of these events and reiterates its full respect for the institution of Atletico Madrid."
Barcelona's decision to come out in public to say that there has been no agreement with Griezmann may come as a welcome boost to Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the former Bayern Munich manager has identified the Frenchman as a forward target for the club in the summer after missing out on Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
The Chilean international looked all but set to join the Premier League leaders before Jose Mourinho's side hijacked the deal. Guardiola is an admirer of Griezmann and is reportedly interested in making a summer approach for his services.