Antoine Griezmann hurries his vacation knowing that his name already appears without dissimulation in all the pools of footballers called to leave Barça this summer and will return in a few hours to Barcelona ready to know directly the plans that the club has, open to all stages … But with Atlético Madrid, if he must leave the Camp Nou, as his favorite destination. In fact, practically unique.
“This will be a market in which there will be many exchange operations between the clubs,” he advanced more than two months ago. Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga and arguing his affirmation in the crisis due to the coronavirus that has dramatically subtracted the financial power of the teams of the Spanish … And European championship.
At Barça this circumstance is clear, the president also recognized it Joan Laporta, and after closing the signings of Eric Garcia, Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay or the low-cost signing of Emerson, the following operation would serve to reduce the salary mass and, incidentally, reinforce the squad with two players of the profile that the club is looking for: a physical midfielder and a left-back who be an alternative to Jordi Alba. Saúl Ñíguez and Renan Lodi aim to be the protagonists, although the case of the full-back is not as advanced, nor as clear, as that of the midfielder.
Sources close to Griezmann explained to ESPN Sports that at the end of the season, when he joined the concentration of the French team to play the Eurocup, Barcelona sent him a message of tranquility, assuring him that he was entering into the plans of Ronald Koeman and that the club did not consider his departure … Although as the days passed his advisers began to suspect that it was not so true when they learned through third parties that Barça was placing him in the market through different representatives and that He had valued the option of negotiating a barter with Atlético, news that Mundo Deportivo advanced last week and of which at first they made sure they were not aware of the player’s own environment.
In recent days, several clubs have surveyed the player to find out his situation and willingness to sign if he left Barcelona, but through his closest advisers he resolved not to attend to any option until he had direct and concise information from the Barça club itself, initially upon entering preseason on July 20.
For his part, Saúl is an old Barça target and is also willing to leave Wanda after losing prominence during the last two seasons. The Spanish only started 22 games in the last league championship. In the past, Barça had already shown interest in signing the midfielder and secured a preferential option, already expired, when David Villa signed for the Madrid club in 2013.
Obviously, the market value of Griezmann with that of Saúl is very unbalanced, so it is not ruled out that other players are included who can balance the balance and who are to the liking of Barça. Ronald Koeman, the Barça coach, remains interested in strengthening his midfield after losing Georginio Wijnaldum, who went to Paris Saint-Germain for money.
The confirmation of the conversations between Barça and Atlético, however, motivated Griezmann to start evaluating this option, knowing that his name was involved in an exchange with Saúl that the Barça club did not reject, on the contrary, when offering the profile as a midfielder who seeks to incorporate his squad and, economically, consider an operation as feasible as advisable … But that could not be reduced to the two players.
The Barça club needs to amortize just over 70 million euros from the signing of Griezmann and ESPN Sports He was able to confirm that he plans to include in the operation, in addition to Saúl, Renan Lodi, a 23-year-old Brazilian left-back and that he would arrive at the Camp Nou as an alternative to Jordi Alba, once Junior Firpo was transferred to Leeds United. Holder with the Canarinha who played the Copa América, Lodi would accompany the midfielder at Barça in an exchange without economic or minimal cost, which would cause the Barça club not to throw losses in terms of the signing of Griezmann. In addition to reducing the wage bill of the workforce.
Griezmann, who has a net salary of more than 12 million euros at the Camp Nou (he lowered the record of his last contract at Atlético adding some bonuses for titles that he has not achieved), would practically recover the one he enjoyed at the mattress club while that the joint salary cost of Saúl and Lodi is considered considerably lower, even more so in the new parameters with which Mateu Alemany works: very tight files and performance awards, regardless of titles.
The last word to fit the gear will end up with Antoine Griezmann, who will return to Barcelona in the next few hours already knowing Barça’s intentions and willing, contrary to what he intended barely a month ago, to pack his bags back to Atlético.
Much appreciated by Diego Simeone, with whom he maintains an excellent relationship and is very willing to have him again in the rojiblanca squad, balancing his salary, the last obstacle to consummating the operation is suspected.
Information of Moses Llorens Y Sam marsden was used in this note.