By Chris King • 17 July 2021 • 2:09
Atletico Madrid agree last-minute deal with Barcelona for Antoine Griezmann.
image: creative commons
ATLETICO MADRID are rumoured to be lining up a swap deal with Barcelona to bring Antoine Griezmann back to the club
La Liga champions Atletico Madrid are rumoured to be considering an audacious deal to bring Antoine Griezmann back to the club from Barcelona, as part of a swap deal that would see Saul Ñiguez move in the opposite direction, to the Camp Nou, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Griezmann joined Atletico back in the 2014-15 season from Real Sociedad, and became an instant sensation during his five years at the Wanda Metropolitano, winning the 2014 Spanish Super Cup, the 2017-18 Europa League, and the 2018 European Super Cup, and Diego Simeone has made it abundantly clear that he would love to have the French international back in Madrid.
Barcelona are under pressure to clear their squad of players, not only in an effort to reduce their wage bill, but also to try and facilitate a deal to keep Lionel Messi, and be able to afford his salary.
The French striker left Madrid under a cloud, on May 14, 2019, when he departed for Barca, without first telling his club of his intention to leave, and after a meeting with Simeone, Miguel Ángel Gil Marín and Andrea Berta, said at the time, “It has been difficult for me to take that path, but it is what I feel and what I need”.
Apparently, Barcelona paid the €120 million release clause in Griezmann’s contract – which had originally been €200 million by all accounts – but his two seasons in the capital of Catalonia have not been the stuff of legends, only scoring 35 goals in 99 games, and winning only one Copa del Rey medal, while Atletico has won La Liga.
In comparison, with Atletico, he scored 133 times in 257 matches, becoming their fifth-highest scorer in history, as well as winning the Bronze Ball for two years.
Saul Ñiguez has recently not figured in the plans of Argentine coach Diego Simeone, hardly making a first-team start sinv¡ce the beginning of 2021, so the opportunity of moving to a club as famous as Barcelona might well appeal to the player if he feels unwanted in Madrid.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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