Atletico confirms Griezmann's departure

Diego Simeone

Antoine Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid he will not return to the club next season.

The 28-year-old Griezmann has a contract until 2023 with Atletico, but has a buy out clause of 120million euros ($134million) and has been the target of several approaches from La Liga rivals Barcelona.

A native of Macon, France, the 28-year-old World Cup victor joined Atleti in 2014 from Real Sociedad.

However, a little less than a year after committing his future to Diego Simeone's side, he's chose to leave the club.

"It's been an incredible five years".

Griezmann issued a statement on his imminent departure in a length video on Atletico's official Twitter account, in which he thanked the club's fans for all the support they've given him down the years.

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Griezmann had previously been attached with moves to Barcelona and Manchester United.

Barcelona will pay the buyout clause in Griezmann's contract of 120m euros, BBC Sport understands.

"I have made a decision to leave, see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need", Griezmann said.

He added: "I have to leave, I want to see new places and face new challenges, it's what I need now". I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years.

"I have tried to give lots of joy to the fans at the Wanda Metropolitano and to our fans at away games, many thanks from my heart and until next time".

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