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Julio Salinas defends Barcelona in Atletico Madrid row over Griezmann

Julio Salinas defends Barcelona in Atletico Madrid row over Griezmann

And it is being claimed that the situation could play into Manchester United's hands after the Red Devils were heavily linked with a move to sign the 26-year-old attacker in the summer.

It would appear that Barcelona's quest to secure the services of the French striker, Antoine Griezmann, could be thwarted by the authorities.

Griezmann's current contract with Atletico runs up until June 2022 but the La Liga side will no doubt be bracing themselves for offers for the man who has seven goals in 19 games so far this season.

Barca's director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, said over the weekend that it was "possible" president Josep Maria Bartomeu had held talks with Griezmann's family.

Nonetheless, FIFA could yet come down hard on Barcelona, who were issued with a one-year transfer ban for signing under-age players in 2014.

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The Spanish club said that breaks Federation Internationale de Football Association regulations.

"The complaint has been presented for repeated contact between Barcelona, the player and his team", an Atletico source told AFP. "Maybe there's been a meeting and things have advanced, although I don't know".

Atletico believes these communications violate La Liga rules as Griezmann is under a long-term contract with the club, and such contact is only permitted in the last six months of a player's deal.

"Griezmann has a long contract and this cannot be permitted, while the club also considers it could affect the competition [La Liga] in which Barcelona are now top and Atletico are second".

Atletico are now in second place behind Barcelona in the La Liga. Whether Atletico will be minded to sell to the Catalans is another matter.

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