Barcelona have made their first move of the summer knowing the need to stay on their toes to make sure they sign Antoine Griezmann. None of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester United -- the clubs that, along with Barça, are used to spending the most money -- have moved to strengthen for next season.
Barça want to be the quickest to avoid the French player's price going up. It's a lesson learned from last summer. At the moment, there's no forward in Europe at Griezmann's level for the same price: 100 million euros for the Atletico man is nothing compared to other market prices in recent transfer windows.
What other players are there in Europe at the moment? Dybala would cost 150 millon euros, Mbappe and Neymar would go for more than 250 million, for sure, Harry Kane for 300 million... There aren't many other options. It's a difficult market and Griezmann is a relative bargain for an elite player.
Barça have been clever to mark their priorities early, at the beginning of season, and to now, while we're still in May, to contact Atletico about the France star. Griezmann's price is determined by his release clause (something that exists in Spain but not in other countries, which makes players from abroad more expensive), which Atletico lowere from 200 million to 100 million when he agreed to stay after their transfer ban was upheld.
It will be a signing a long time in the making because Barça have followed him for a long time. And the contact with Atletico has been done with maximum discretion to try and avoid ruining the good relationship between the two clubs.