MADRID, June 13 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has signed a year’s extension to his contract, the club president said, keeping him at Atletico through to 2022 and seemingly ending what was shaping to be one of the transfer sagas of the summer.
Griezmann, third in the 2016 Ballon d‘Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, had been heavily linked to Europa League winners Manchester United in recent weeks.
The 26-year-old last month told television programme Quotidien in his native France that a move to United was “possible”, before stating there was a “six out of 10 chance” it would happen.
However, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said on Spanish radio on Tuesday that the forward had agreed a new deal. “I always said Griezmann was going to stay. We’ve kept his release clause the same and given him a pay rise,” Cerezo said.
Spanish media said the French forward’s new contract made him the highest-paid player in the club’s history, with an annual salary of around 14 million euros ($15.7 million).
While Cerezo has confirmed the extension, the club have made no immediate comment on the contract or Griezmann pay.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to uphold a transfer ban on Atletico for signing minors has prevented them from registering new players until January 2018. That appears to have played a big part in Griezmann’s decision to remain with the club he joined for 30 million euros in 2014.
“It’s a tough time for the club and it would be a dirty move to leave now,” Griezmann said when the ban was upheld this month, before tweeting “Now more than ever #Atleti” in a pledge of loyalty. (Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli; Editing by Alison Williams)