Antoine Griezmann’s return to Atletico Madrid after two seasons appears to be off. Talks between Barcelona and Atletico over a swap deal for Griezmann and Saul Niguez (the football news) have broken down. So, in today’s transfer news football, Griezmann might not return to Atletico Madrid this summer after all.
Barcelona has effectively put Griezmann, 30, up for sale as the Catalan club seeks to address a financial crisis.
This summer, all but a few key players at Camp Nou are available for the right price.
Indeed, Barcelona are offloading several first-team high-earners to manage their wage bill, and the French star is one of them.
Joan Laporta and the Barça board’s priority remains to re-sign and re-registering Lionel Messi.
They have to do so without going bankrupt or violating the strict financial controls of La Liga over wage budgets.
So the only option that remains is the wholesale of star players, including Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann’s Desire to Return
Reports have linked Griezmann with a return to Atletico Madrid, where he spent five seasons and scored 133 goals.
He then joined Barcelona, in somewhat contentious circumstances, in 2019.
According to reports, the French World Cup winner had already spoken with Simeone about the possibility of a transfer.
In fact, he had his heart set on a football transfer away from Barcelona and returning to Atletico.
When asked directly about Griezmann’s return, moreover, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said coyly that “everything is possible”.
Transfer News Football – Griezmann Might Not Return to Atletico Madrid
However, SPORT now reports that the deal to swap Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez has fallen through.
The reason behind this is that Barcelona are unwilling to let Griezmann leave on the cheap.
They were stung by Luis Suarez’s move to the Spanish capital last summer. Though they themselves (rather dishonourably) facilitated the transfer, they are upset about having to pay part of his salary still.
According to SPORT, Atletico Madrid was unable and unwilling to stump up €20 million for Griezmann now, this summer.
They would have to cough up this amount in addition to fronting a player for the Frenchman, while in debt.
The report also states that Barça preferred a trade involving Atletico forward Joao Felix over one involving Saul.
So, now, with no agreement with Atletico in place any longer, Griezmann – one of Barça’s highest-paid players after Messi and with a contract that runs until 2024 – has become a ‘problem’ for the club.