Barcelona have decided to renew their interest on Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.
The transfer saga between Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona was prolonged before he decided to stay put at Atletico Madrid last summer. The French International decided to extend his contract until 2023 at Wanda Metropolitano following the Europa League triumph under Diego Simeone.
Various reports suggested that the French International was close to securing a move to Nou Camp and the club were even ready to hand him the number 7 shirt. However, the Spanish club convinced him to stay and promised him success the following season.
Due to Griezmann’s willingness, Diego Simeone made a move for the French winger Thomas Lemar in the summer transfer window. The former Monaco forward has been underwhelming just like Atletico Madrid’s season.
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann reportedly regrets opting against leaving for Barcelona last summer… but is an offer still on the table?
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 18, 2019
Atletico Madrid are currently ten points behind the leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table. Despite taking a 2-0 lead to Turin, the Spanish club was not able to withstand pressure from Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick forced the club to face elimination from the Champions League.
The rumours of Griezmann joining Barcelona have reignited since that poor night in Turin followed by the defeat to Atletico Bilbao.
According to the French publication L’Equipe, Barcelona have once again approached the Atletico Madrid forward for a transfer. Antoine Greizmann has made up his mind to listen to offers following that loss to Atletic Bilbao in the La Liga on Saturday.
The report also adds on that the Blaugrana are ready to offer him 16 million euros per year to lure him to Nou Camp. There is a release clause of 120 million euros which can be activated before July 2019.
If he stays there after the above mentioned month, there is every chance that Atletico Madrid will demand hefty fees from the clubs wanting his signature.
Antoine Griezmann has a €120m release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract expiring in June 2019 & Barcelona are in talks to sign the Frenchman – the deal offered includes a €5m a year wage drop – full story https://t.co/6p9t0qVR2J
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 17, 2019
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo also says that Antoine Griezmann regrets his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid post last summer. Despite turning down the club, there are still supporters inside the Barcelona board for a potential transfer.
Luis Suarez is already 32 which has forced the club to look for long-term options. Griezmann is only 27 and can act as the first choice striker for the next five years at least. The names including Luka Jovic, Maxi Gomez, and Andre Silva have been thrown in the mix, but the board believe the Atletico Madrid forward could be the heir to Luis Suarez.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was crazy about him last summer and will talk with the Frenchman for a potential transfer should the board request him. Besides, Luis Suarez, Barcelona’s leading scorer Lionel Messi will also be turning 32 before the start of the next season.
The price of Griezmann was 100 million last summer. Now, it a little more expensive, 120 million, even a quality adjusted to its quality. The Barcelona board are currently thinking to finish the season strongly before handling the transfers in the summer transfer window.
The disappointment was great at Nou Camp when he decided to turn them down in 2018. However, in soccer, everything is of short memory.
🚨 [L’Équipe] | Antoine Griezmann tempts FC Barcelona
🔶 The Frenchman is rethinking his future after Atlético were eliminated in the Champions League
🔷 €120 million could make him a Barcelona player in June 2019 pic.twitter.com/ijfQakCrkM
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) March 16, 2019
If Barcelona decide to pursue a deal for Antoine Griezmann, it could mark the end of Philippe Coutinho at Catalonia. The Brazilian International joined the club from Liverpool in January 2018 and has been underwhelming, to say the least.
Barcelona’s number 7 has failed to adjust to Ernesto Valverde’s tactics. The 26-year-old has often been scrutinized for his awful play, but Coutinho is neither a winger nor a central attacking midfielder. The Blaugrana manager must play him as a number 8 to get the best out of the little Brazilian.
On the other hand, Antoine Griezmann has the capability to play through both the wings. Besides, he would be able to operate as an attacking midfielder or as a striker if required. There is no doubt about his quality, but it remains to be seen if the club would spend heavily on the Frenchman after splashing out 90 million euros for Frenkie De Jong.