Transfer talk: Atletico Madrid bring on Antoine Griezmann

Atletico Madrid announced on Monday they had come to a deal with Real Sociedad for French international Antoine Griezmann, who appeared in all five of France's World Cup matches.

Antoine Griezmann scored 16 goals in 31 La Liga matches last season. Marko Djurica / Reuters
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Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to sign France international Antoine Griezmann from Real Sociedad, the Spanish champions announced on Monday.

“Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad have reached an agreement for the transfer of Antoine Griezmann,” read a statement on Atletico’s website.

“The young French player will sign a contract with our club once he passes a medical,” it added.

Neither Atletico or Sociedad published financial details of the deal but local media said it was worth EU€30 million (Dh148m).

Griezmann, 23, had been linked with several clubs around Europe, including English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, but Atletico, who claimed their first Spanish league title in 18 years last season, have won the race for the French winger.

Sociedad said in a statement: “The player has the club’s permission to undergo a medical in Madrid.

“Real Sociedad want to thank Antoine Griezmann for his professionalism and dedication shown during his time at the club while wishing him the best for the future.”

Griezmann came through Real Sociedad’s youth system, having joined the club as a 13-year-old, before making his first-team debut in 2009 and going on to score 53 goals in 202 appearances. Last term he had 16 goals in 31 La Liga games and helped the Basque club finish seventh to qualify for the Europa League.

He played in all five of France’s matches at the World Cup finals in Brazil as they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Germany. He made his international debut in March and has scored three times in nine games for the French national side.

His international career had been set back by a suspension for disciplinary reasons handed down by the France Football Federation (FFF) when he was playing for the Under-21 side, reportedly after an unauthorised late-night excursion.

Born in Macon in central France, he joined Sociedad at the age of 13, and after breaking into the first team helped them win promotion back to the top flight.

He was a key performer in successive French youth sides and helped the Gallic nation win the European Under-19 Championship in 2010 and secure a fourth-place finish at the Under-20 World Cup in Colombia a year later.

“He’s a type of player we did not have, a little bit Spanish because of his technique and accuracy in front of goal,” Francis Smerecki, his former Under-19 coach, said in 2010.

FC Copenhagen

Sweden international defender Mikael Antonsson has rejoined FC Copenhagen and could feature for the Danes in their Champions League qualifier against Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Kiev on Wednesday, the club said in a statement.

The 33-year-old centre back left FC Copenhagen in 2011 for a three-year stint with Italian side Bologna, and has now returned to the Danish capital on a two-year contract with an option for a further year.

“It’s a great feeling to be back at FC and in Copenhagen,” Antonsson said in statement. “It’s like coming home and obviously that was what I wanted most after my time in Italy.”

Capped 47 times for Sweden, Antonsson won three league titles in his previous spell at the club, and returns to a Copenhagen side that are in third place after two rounds of the Danish championship.

The club statement added that Antonsson could make his first appearance when they take on Dnipro in Kiev after their Champions League qualifier was moved to the Ukrainian capital amid security fears.

Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazil-born forward Luiz Adriano has said he is considering becoming a Ukrainian citizen to make himself eligible for the national team, local press reported Monday.

“It’s true, I have an intention to receive Ukrainian citizenship,” the 27-year-old striker was quoted as saying by the website.

“But my final decision will depend on the situation in Ukraine,” said Adriano, alluding to the conflict between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.

“In the case that things return to normal I will be happy to to receive a Ukrainian passport,” he added.

Adriano joined Shakhtar in 2007 and has scored 108 goals in 235 matches for the five-time defending Ukrainian champions.

Ukraine coach Mikhail Fomenko has previously said that Adriano would receive a call-up to the national team right after he receives a Ukrainian passport.

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