What next for Barcelona and Griezmann? Three possible destinations studied
Antoine Griezmann’s swap move to Atletico Madrid might have broken down, but Barcelona remain keen to get the World Cup winner off their books.
Since making a move from Atleti in 2019 for €120 million, Griezmann has been something of a disappointment at Camp Nou, though by no means catastrophic.
However, Barcelona’s financial situation means that they are willing to cut their losses on him.
With a desire to cut their wage bill in order to secure the re-signing of Lionel Messi, whose contract expired on 30 June, Griezmann is a player that the Camp Nou side are willing to jettison.
It had been hoped that they would be able to offload the Frenchman and his €34.8 million per year wages to Atleti in return for Saul and €20m, but no deal will be completed.
Not only are his wages huge - the third highest in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar while Messi is out of contract - he has recently been embroiled in a racism storm that has not helped either his image or that of the club.
Where, then, will Barcelona hope to sell Griezmann?
Barca running out of Griezmann options
It is no secret that the transfer market this summer is not buoyant. Clubs are seeking to cut their losses after the Covid-19 pandemic and are not investing heavily in players.
Barcelona have discovered to their cost how difficult it is to move players on at the moment, with Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti reticent to leave the club as they are aware they will not earn nearly as much in any future deals.
Sport has suggested, however, three clubs that might seek to sign Griezmann.
Should Juventus offload Cristiano Ronaldo and has astronomical wages, Griezmann could be a target as a replacement. He would come cheaper in terms of his earnings, though what complicates a deal is a transfer fee.
Juve are also bereft of funds and even allowing for the departure of the Portuguese great, it seems unlikely they will be able to meet Barcelona’s reduced demands.
Linking Griezmann to Man Utd seems fanciful. The Red Devils are well stocked in the areas where Griezmann is most apt to play and his addition would simply add a needless wage onto the payroll while solving none of the team’s existing problems.
Jadon Sancho is arriving to feature on the right of midfield, while Bruno Fernandes is monopolising the No.10 role to such an extent that the futures of Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba are not certain at Old Trafford.
Griezmann, meanwhile, is not a centre forward, despite his healthy goals return.
This is a move that seems improbable.
The focus of Chelsea in the transfer market is currently to free up funds to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Even if they were to look an alternative, Griezmann is not the same type of player, either in terms of position or in style.
Even if the Blues do have money to spend, why look at Griezmann when Mason Mount has been performing excellent service and will surely only continue to improve in the years ahead? He is a player that goes against the grain of what Chelsea have spent recent years building up.
This is another link that does not add up.
Barcelona’s Griezmann headache appears no closer to clearing.