Barca pays 15 million euros for first refusal on Atletico youngsters

Antoine Griezmann joined Barcelona last summer and scored in their 3-0 win over Eibar in La Liga on Saturday. — AFP

MADRID — Barcelona have paid Atletico Madrid 15 million euros for the right to be given first refusal on six Atletico players, AFP learned on Tuesday.

Atletico sources have told AFP the agreement has "nothing to do" with the dispute between the two clubs over the transfer of Antoine Griezmann last summer.

"It is a right of first refusal on a list of players primarily from the academy," these sources added.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo had claimed on Tuesday the fee is to "make peace in the Griezmann case".

The agreement allows Barcelona to match or exceed any offers for those players whenever the player wants to leave, Atletico agree to sell and an acceptable bid arrives from a separate club.

Griezmnann left Atletico for Barcelona when the Catalan club activated his release clause of 120 million euros in July.

Atletico claimed they were due 200 million euros from the transfer because they said Griezmann had agreed to move to Barca in March, before the clause dropped on July 1.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) fined Barcelona 300 euros on September 26 for failing to notify Atletico they were in talks with the Frenchman.

But the RFEF concluded there was no evidence Griezmann had signed a formal contract with Barca. — AFP