Antoine Griezmann has informed Atlético Madrid that he will leave the club in the summer transfer window.

The 28-year-old has spent five years in the capital but believes it is time for a change in his career.

Speaking to Atléti fans via the club’s social media channels, Griezmann explained his difficult decision to move on.

“I wanted to tell you that I’ve made the decision to leave, to experience different things and new challenges,” he said.

“It’s been very hard for me to take this path, but I feel that it’s what I need.”

Griezmann has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, who are reportedly willing to pay out his €125 million release clause and sign the player to a five-year contract.

Barça attempted to sign the Frenchman under 12 months ago, before he agreed to a five-year contract extension with Atlético Madrid.

If, as expected, Griezmann does join Barcelona, he will line up alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, forming arguably the most potent front three in world football. Add the already signed Frenkie de Jong as well as the incoming Matthijs de Ligt and Barça are looking as strong as ever.

There will likely be casualties at the club, however, including Philippe Coutinho, who has failed to find his feet and is expected to be sold to make room for Griezmann.

Doubts over Ousmane Dembélé’s future will almost certainly surface, who Barcelona signed for €105 million back in August 2017.

It has been a wonderful career for Griezmann at Atléti, where he scored 133 goals in 256 appearances for the club. Unfortunately for Atléti fans, all good stories must have an end.

Griezmann will play his final game for Atlético Madrid away to Levante on Saturday.

Damon Palmar