Barcelona’s efforts to push Griezmann out present how dangerous issues are financially as they attempt to hold Messi

Barcelona’s efforts to push Griezmann out present how dangerous issues are financially as they attempt to hold Messi

“Something can occur in football,” stated the Atletico Madrid president, Enrique Cerezo. Even Barcelona following up their determination to let a striker go to Atletico Madrid free of charge, pay a piece of his wage and assist them win the league by… properly, letting a striker go to Atletico Madrid free of charge, paying a piece of his wage and serving to them win the league.

OK, so Atletico might not win the league subsequent season, and so they might not even get the deal accomplished — in reality, it appears fairly troublesome proper now — however FC Barcelona actually are speaking to them this summer time about permitting Antoine Griezmann to return to the Wanda Metropolitano and for nothing. And doing this two years after paying €125m for him, which in flip was a 12 months after he had very publicly turned them down.

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Not simply permitting him to return, in reality: obliging him to.

On Monday afternoon, Barcelona opened discussions about doing a swap deal for midfielder Saul Niguez — though formally they might find yourself being two separate offers. It might not occur. Barcelona don’t wish to cowl any of Griezmann’s wage, understood to be within the area of €20m. Atletico don’t need the deal to price them, and have intimated that they don’t seem to be so bothered: they may stroll away any time, leaving him and them caught.

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Which can be a tactic, in fact. It in all probability is. However that it has come to this.

That Barcelona have turn into so determined, in such dire monetary circumstances, that they are making an attempt to power Griezmann to the door, conscious now that it is nearly not possible for them to maintain him and Messi.

That after the whole lot Griezmann has accomplished, the whole lot he has been and nonetheless might be, there may be not a queue of golf equipment constructing exterior, all determined to get him, large wads of money waving at Barcelona.

That Atletico stand alone, able to twist Barcelona’s arm or stroll away.

And that Griezmann would return, fortunately. Like others earlier than him, by the way. It is humorous the way it goes.

Nicely, type of fortunately. And it’s not like the selection could be his alone. It’s not that Griezmann needs to go away Barcelona for Atletico, both; it’s that if he has to go away Barcelona, Atletico is a beautiful various. It is a membership he is aware of and a supervisor (Diego Simeone) who backs him; even Profe Ortega, the health coach who likes to see the sweat and vomit circulate freely from his gamers, does not scare him. Actually, the best way issues have been the final couple of years, he would possibly properly welcome that work.

However Griezmann didn’t search this resolution, Barcelona did. If it truly is an answer.

For all of the doubts round Griezmann over the previous couple of years at Camp Nou — that lingering feeling that he by no means fairly match, that this was by no means fairly his place, that in reality he in all probability should not have come within the first place and that he price an excessive amount of — the explanations that Barcelona are so eager to maneuver him on are usually not a lot footballing as monetary.

Proper now, they cannot afford to pay their gamers: financial savings need to be made, gross sales secured. Griezmann might not be the best earner on the membership and even within the high three, however his departure would clear round €20m off their wage invoice. Simply as importantly, there are nonetheless nearly €80m nonetheless to be amortized on his contract. His departure would assist them ease that monetary stress and at a time that — and to illustrate this once more — they can not afford to pay their gamers and the league won’t even allow them to signal them up.



Gab and Juls focus on the potential for a swap deal between Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez.

Caught with a squad excessive on salaries and low on the need to depart, Griezmann is among the few gamers they will transfer. And but even he does not have his choose of golf equipment, even at a time when it appears very very like he would flip up free of charge. Is there severely no-one else on the market that sees what a cut price this might be?

It is curious. When he joined Barcelona two years in the past, there might have been only one attacking participant on the earth that did what he did. There was a cause that his transfer charge was €125m, a cause why Barcelona had been ready to return to him even after he had rejected them the 12 months earlier than — stay on tv. Downside was, that one participant was about to be on the identical team as him.

Griezmann — and it is price saying this, too — has not been a failure at Barcelona. He has largely performed fairly properly and he has scored some important targets — a big variety of targets too (35 in 99 video games). Ask folks on the membership privately, and principally they communicate properly of him. And but it is not fairly sufficient; expectations for his arrival had been far increased than that, and one thing was not fairly proper. Add to {that a} monetary disaster and structural dysfunction, and now there are doubts. A state of affairs too by which Griezmann just isn’t in charge of his personal future.

He is aware of now that Barcelona try to push him out, that they’ve begun a course of that they hope can safe their short-term future. As a result of, make no mistake, that is what’s in play right here. It’s one by which he, and Atletico, hope they can safe their previous, and their future too — conscious that whereas Barcelona are pushing for his departure, determined to get rid, theirs is the higher hand, and time on their aspect now. It is no assure that it will occur: it’s a complicated deal, settlement simply out of attain nonetheless.

However there is a chance, too.

Large cash does not all the time imply success; Barcelona know this higher than most. Philippe Coutinho was, it was stated, however he gained the Champions League with Bayern Munich. Luis Suarez was completed, however he gained the league. “Insanity,” Messi referred to as it. Now Griezmann might be on his method again once more. Not everybody will welcome him, not after the whole lot that occurred, however at Atletico, they know he can play. They noticed it then and now… properly, now, something can occur in football.

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