Diego Simeone has confessed that Antoine Griezmann will not be starting this season because the club will be compelled to pay Barcelona €40 million (£35 million) if he plays enough minutes.
Griezmann has two goals but has yet to start a game, coming on for Atletico at minute 64, 62, and 75 in Atletico’s three encounters.
When asked why the player had only appeared as a late substitute so far this season, Simeone replied, ‘You have known me for eleven years now; I am a man of the club and I always will be.’
The response was him almost admitting that the order had come down to limit the Frenchman’s minutes due to a condition in his loan agreement with Barcelona.
If Griezmann plays more than 45 minutes in 14 games this season, Atletico Madrid are obligated by contract to sign him from Barcelona for €40 million (£35 million) and give him two more years.
What remains to be seen is whether Atletico will continue with this policy when the transfer window closes.
It’s probable that Atletico were putting pressure on the player and his parent club Barcelona to find a new home for him this summer by signaling that they weren’t going to use him enough to trigger his purchase clause.
Now that the window is closed, the club may be able to use him more freely. The first test of the post-market policy will be against Real Sociedad on Saturday.
They were one of the market’s biggest movers, selling Alexander Isak to Newcastle and acquiring Umar Sadiq from Almeria.
With the bonuses factoring into Umar Sadiq’s acquisition from Almeria, they also earned the accolade for the best-negotiated add-ons in any deadline day deal.
Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay revealed on Thursday that the club will pay Almeria €1 million (£866,000) if they win LaLiga; another €1 million (£866,000) if they win two leagues; €750,000 (£650,000) if Sadiq wins the Golden Boot, €750,000 (£650,000) if Real Sociedad reach a Champions League semi-final, and another €500,000 (£433,000) if he finishes second in LaL.
Sadiq will be the greatest signing in Real Sociedad history if Almeria cashes all those cheques.
His sale was still a fantastic deal for Almeria. They pay €20 million (£17.3 million) plus €2 million (£1.7 million) in significantly more easily attainable add-ons for the prolific 25-year-old Nigerian striker.