Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted defeat in his club's efforts to re-sign Neymar, while revealing that talks have begun over the arrival of Antoine Griezmann. "Yesterday (Thursday) our CEO, Òscar Grau, met with Miguel Ángel Gil (of Atletico)", Bartomeu added.
However, in another remarkable claim made on Friday, Atletico say the Catalan giants have asked to defer payment, a proposal Los Colchoneros have dismissed.
Bartomeu, however, admits the Ligue 1 champions do not want the world's most expensive player to leave, even though he expressed to desire to move.
Griezmann, 28, is available for a €120million - the value of his release clause - during this transfer window and that could be activated by Barcelona.
"As a effect of all this", the statement said, Atletico informed Griezmann, his representative (the player's sister, Maud Griezmann) and his attorney that the forward must report to the club's training facility on Sunday for the start of preseason practice.
Griezmann signed for Atletico from Real Sociedad in 2014 and has since scored 133 goals in 257 appearances for Diego Simeone's men.
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Barcelona won their second straight La Liga title last season but are looking to reinforce their squad after failing again in their bid for a first Champions League triumph since 2015 - suffering a humiliating loss to Liverpool in the semi-finals having won the first leg 3-0.
Brazil worldwide Neymar left Barcelona for PSG in 2017 for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) and has been linked with a return.
"We know Neymar wants to leave PSG but we know that PSG do not want Neymar to leave".
Griezmann would not be guaranteed to walk into Barca's starting line-up, though, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and either Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele usually making up their front three last term.
The French World Cup victor has already confirmed he will leave Atletico this summer, and while the president believes negotiations will be tricky, he confirmed that the Madrid club have been contacted over a sale.
During the press conference, Bartomeu also said that Neymar wants to leave PSG, but that the French club do not want to sell him.