Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is leaving Atletico Madrid in a video posted to the club’s official Twitter account.
Barca are reportedly willing to pay Griezmann’s release clause, which will be €130 million (£113m/$146m) on July 1, for him to join ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Catalans were in hot pursuit of Griezmann last year, but the France star opted to sign a new contract with Atletico through 2023, announcing his intention in a televised special called “La Decision”.
But the 28-year-old has now had a change of heart, and will depart the club he joined from Real Sociedad in 2014.
In the video, Griezmann went on to say that he decided to leave the club to seek a new challenge, and made the decision after a meeting with manager Diego Simeone and club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin.
“After talking with Cholo [Diego Simeone], Miguel Angel and the people from the offices, I wanted to talk to the fans who have given me a lot of love,” Griezmann said.
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) May 14, 2019
“I have decided to leave, see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need.
“It’s been five great years where I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. It’s been a very important stage.
“I have enjoyed a lot, I have left everything in the field, I have tried to behave well, I have tried to give joy to the people who have come to the Metropolitano and also away from home, and I only have gratitude for all of you”.
In his time at Atletico, Griezmann has established himself as one of the world’s top attacking players, and helped his side to the Europa League title last season.
Griezmann has scored 15 La Liga goals this season, continuing a trend of having reached double digits in all five of his seasons with Atletico.