BARCELONA

Barcelona could sell Griezmann to fund move for Lautaro Martínez

Barcelona and Leo Messi are keen to sign the Inter Milan striker and could be willing to cash in on the former Atlético Madrid forward this summer.

Barcelona are considering selling Antoine Griezmann this summer to try and recoup some of the €120m the Camp Nou board sent Atlético Madrid's way for the France forward as they seek to lure Inter Milan's Lautaro Martínez to Catalonia as a long-term successor to Luis Suárez

According to Barcelona-based daily Sport, Griezmann could be included as part of a swap deal for the Argentina forward, whose signing has been given the personal blessing of Leo Messi. When Griezmann signed for Barça last summer there were reports that he was not a popular addition to the squad and that some senior members of the dressing room, including Messi, had suggested the money be invested elsewhere. The World Cup winner has not had the easiest of adaptations at Camp Nou, where he was initially shunted out to the wing to accommodate Suárez after spending the past few seasons at Atlético as a centre forward. 

Since Quique Setién took over from Ernesto Valverde, Griezmann has operated in a more central role and he has managed 14 goals and four assists in all competitions, including a vital strike in the 1-1 draw away at Napoli in the Champions League. 

Griezmann could be used as makeweight for Lautaro

Last summer there was speculation that Griezmann might even be offloaded before kicking a ball for Barça as part of a deal with PSG for Neymar to return to Camp Nou but that was alway unlikely with the Parisians unwilling to do business. Barça's interest in Lautaro is far more concrete and the Argentina international will not be allowed to leave Inter for less than €100m, a large part of which could be made up by sending Griezmann in the other direction. 

Barcelona vice president Jodri Cardoner warned fans a year ago that they should be prepared to see players come and go depending on the market and only Messi, Luis Suárez and Gerard Piqué can rest assured they are not on the market. Others, including Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jordi Alba and even Frenkie de Jong, who has not reached the levels he displayed at Ajax after joining from the Eredivisie club last summer, are vulnerable

In the case of Griezmann, it appears that Barça may be willing to cash in while the 29-year-old Frenchman's stock is still high and reinvest in 22-year-old Lautaro.