Barcelona have issued a statement in response to reports linking them to Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann

Reports in Spain claimed the Catalans had struck a secret deal to sign France international Griezmann, 26, in summer.

However, in something of an unprecedented move, Barcelona swiftly issued a statement via their website, denying any such deal has been agreed.

It reads: “The FC Barcelona categorically denies the reports in the last hours in different media referring to Atletico Madrid Antoine Griezmann and alleged links to our club.

“FC Barcelona expresses its displeasure at these events and reiterates all its respect towards the institution of Atlético de Madrid.”

Griezmann, who has a release clause of £889million in his contract, has been strongly linked to both Barcelona and Manchester United.

It had been claimed that Barcelona’s new £142million signing Philippe Coutinho being assigned the number 14 shirt was a sign that Griezmann was set to join him at the Nou Camp because it left the number 7 shirt free.

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