Griezmann willing to leave Camp Nou on one condition
Antoine Griezmann will accept a transfer away from Barcelona as long as it is to a competitive side, with Atlético Madrid's Saúl a possible swap option.
According to Catalan daily La Vanguardia, Antoine Griezmann has "not closed the door on a Barcelona exit" this summer and will consider his options if he is deemed surplus to requirements by Ronald Koeman and Camp Nou president Joan Laporta. The France international is one of the candidates being considered by Laporta and Barça sporting director Mateu Alemany as a potential sacrificial lamb to help ease the club's precarious financial situation and reduce its wage bill to comply with LaLiga's salary cap. The Barcelona board are also desperately trying to find a solution to the impasse over a new deal for star forward Leo Messi, with Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic among the players the club would like to cash in on or at least remove from the books as they seek to make room for new arrivals Memphis Depay, Emerson, Eric Garcia and Sergio Agüero.
While few at the club are questioning Griezmann's quality as a player, the feeling is that due to his playing style, his salary and the arrival of two more attacking players the Frenchman is the prime candidate to be moved on to balance the books and the squad.
Griezmann accepts his Barcelona career could be over
Ronald Koeman: "Griezmann has performed well and is a very good player. However, I insist, I don't know which decisions will be made. If he stays I will count on him like always." pic.twitter.com/MndeGAjkyJ— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) July 9, 2021
According to La Vanguardia, Griezmann has come to accept the club's position and will not dig in his heels about a transfer this summer, but only if he is sold to a "competitive" club. The forward has three years remaining on his Camp Nou contract and would prefer to see them out but if that means a significant reduction in playing time with Agüero fitting the profile of impact substitute after his arrival from Manchester City, Griezmann will accept a move, with the Premier League club reportedly having made contact.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona have spied a possible swap deal with Griezmann's former club for Spain midfielder Saúl, who is also a target for Manchester United. However, given Saúl's market value of around €60-80 million and his probable salary demands, this move is viewed by the Barcelona hierarchy as unlikely to solve any of their financial issues in the short term, even if the technical staff have given the green light to the midfielder's arrival.
Griezmann is still on holiday after Euro 2020 and despite a decent season for Barcelona Koeman is unable to make any guarantees over his place in the side for the 2021-22 campaign. When he returns, he will have to make a decision as to whether to fight for his place, try and engineer a move back to Atlético to be reunited with Diego Simeone or to try his hand in Italy or England, where he will not be short of suitors.
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