ISTRIA (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid made a triple swoop at France’s World Cup training base on Monday, announcing new contracts for talismanic striker Antoine Griezmann and defender Lucas Hernandez as well as officially signing midfielder Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco.
The Liga side said in a statement that all three contracts were signed in the presence of Atletico’s chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin, who had travelled to the France team’s base in the Russian town of Istria.
France striker Griezmann had revealed last Thursday on Spanish television in a documentary called ‘The Decision’ that he had rejected a move to Spanish champions Barcelona to stay at Atletico.
Defender Hernandez, meanwhile, extended his contract until 2024, and winger Lemar signed a deal to join Atletico which they said was subject to him passing a medical and their prelmininary deal with AS Monaco being formalised.
According to reports in the Spanish media, the deal for Lemar is worth more than $81.34 million, making him the most expensive player in Atletico’s history.
“The contracts were signed in the training camp of the France national team following the guidelines of the people in charge of the French Football Association and the France coach Didier Deschamps,” added the statement.
Griezmann, 27, joined Atletico in July 2014 from Real Sociedad and has finished top scorer with the Madrid side in each season he has been at the club.
He scored twice in their 3-0 win in the Europa League final over Olympique de Marseille last month.
Defender Hernandez, whose brother Theo signed for Atletico’s arch rivals Real Madrid last year, came through the club’s youth academy and made his debut in 2014.