Barcelona want João Félix instead of Saúl in Griezmann swap deal - reports
According to Sport, Barcelona have expressed their interest in João Félix over Saúl in the swap deal involving Antoine Griezmann. Atlético see João Felix as non-transferible.
Atlético Madrid and Barcelona continue to talks on what could be one of the deals of the summer.
Mundo Deportivo has reported this week that the two clubs are evaluating the viability of a swap deal involving Atlético’s Saúl and Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, who could return to Los Rojiblancos just two years after leaving the club for Camp Nou.
Question marks were raised in Spain this week as to why Saúl trained alone during Atlético’s training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, while Griezmann is waiting to see how events unfold while on vacation after competing with France at Euro 2020.
Barcelona want João Félix
The latest on those events has come from Catalan sports daily Sport, which claims that Barcelona have added a twist to negotiations by bringing the name of Atlético young gun João Félix to the table, whom the Blaugrana bosses would reportedly prefer over Saúl.
As Sport reports, Griezmann's market value is higher than that of Saúl and therefore Barcelona demand the Spanish midfielder plus a cash payment of €15-20 million in exchange for the Frenchman. Atlético, however, are apparently not willing to pay the extra cash.
With striker João Félix, Barcelona would see the direct swap deal as more financially compatible, although the club’s needs are more in the midfield than up front, particularly after they lost the battle to sign Gini Wijnaldum to PSG.
Atlético, however, consider João Félix non-transferable. Atléti see the 21-year-old with a very promising future at the club and are not willing to listen to offers, particularly one involving a a player nine years his senior in 30-year-old Griezmann.
Both the club and coach Diego Simeone trust greatly in João Félix’s potential and know that his ankle injury had a big impact on a season in which he had started at an impressive level before the injury setback. Following recent surgery on his ankle, João Félix returns to pre-season training with high expectations placed on him for next season.