Antoine Griezmann has sent a strong message to Barcelona regarding his future at the club amid speculation he could be sold in the summer transfer window to finance Lionel Messi’s contract renewal.
A member of Griezmann’s camp has told French newspaper L’Equipe, “Antoine is not ready to accept any conditions to leave, simply because Barcelona find themselves in a complicated situation [financially].”
The report adds that Griezmann has been offered to Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City but is only thinking about a return to former club Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann left the Rojiblancos for Barcelona in the the summer of 2019 after the Catalans activated his €120 million release clause. The World Cup winner’s contract at the Camp Nou runs until June 2024.
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Griezmann Exit Needed to Secure Messi’s Future?
Barca is reportedly “open” to letting Griezmann leave this summer because the club needs to make cutbacks in order to register Messi’s new deal with La Liga, according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
The Catalan giants had been in talks with Atletico over a swap deal involving Saul Niguez but negotiations have broken down and are unlikely to revived, as reported by Diario AS.
Barca has also held “inital talks” with Juventus over a possible swap deal which would see Paulo Dybala head to the Camp Nou. According to L’Equipe, the club is “desperate” to offload Griezmann for “financial” reasons as he’s one of the top earners at the Camp Nou, as reported by Marca.
However, sources at both clubs have since denied rumors of a Dybala-Griezmann swap with the Serie A side hoping to re-start talks over a new contract for the Argentine, according to reporters Fabrizio Romano.
Simeone Talks Griezmann Future
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has offered his thoughts on Griezmann’s future amid speculation he could return to the club. The Uruguayan told Diario AS he wants Griezmann to succeed at the Camp Nou.
“I have a nice relationship with Griezmann beyond just the sporting relationship, given my kids play with his,” he said. “Beyond what he gave Atletico, I want things to go well for him at Barça. He is an extraordinary player. At Barça. having seasons lacking consistency, he’s not dropped below 20 goals a season. They are good numbers and I hope we can see the player we’ve see at the Euros, the World Cup and in the five years with us at Atletico. I don’t want anything other than for him to succeed at Barça.”
Yet Simeone went on to add that Atletico wants another striker and hinted that it was not out of the question that Griezmann could return. He added, “If Griezmann doesn’t come, another will. The club will decide what’s best financially. We have to analyse the situation and act appropriately. We’ve spoken about several players. We’re working on a forward to increase the internal competition.”
Barcelona may need to offload Griezmann for financial reasons but will be wary about sanctioning a return to Atletico after seeing Luis Suarez join Simeone’s side last summer and then go on to win the title with Los Colchoneros.