Reports in Spain claim forward Antoine Griezmann has put his foot down and will refuse to leave Barcelona unless he can re-join Atletico Madrid.
The 30-year-old has now completed two seasons with the LaLiga giants. Signed from Atletico in the summer of 2019, big things were expected of the France international. He has shown decent form at times and bagged 35 goals from 99 appearances in all competitions.
However, his league return of 13 last season and nine in his first year at the club contrasts sharply with his time in Madrid. He averaged almost 19 league goals per season with the Colchoneros and bagged many more in other competitions.
It has been a struggle at times with Barca despite being handed plenty of playing time. Rumours began to surface earlier this season that the man with 95 France caps would be on his way.
Lionel Messi’s possible renewal may well depend on jettisoning some high earners and Griezmann is vulnerable. Both Manchester City and Manchester United have been linked while Tottenham are also thought to be keen.
It has been suggested that Barcelona president Joan Laporta is eager to sign United midfielder Paul Pogba. And he is prepared to listen to offers for the Frenchman if the figures involved are satisfactory.
It was always thought that the former Real Sociedad man wanted to return to Wanda Metropolitano. But Barcelona-based publication Diario Sport have taken it a stage further.
They suggest he will not leave the Nou Camp unless a deal can be worked out to send him to Atletico.
Griezmann prepared for pay cut
Griezmann is said to earn in the region of £750k per week and has three years left on his deal. Those numbers would be tough for any club to match and he will need to lower his expectations.
Barca’s financial woes have been well documented due to their astronomical wage bill. Atletico cannot match what the star is on at the moment and a move would not be for the money.
The Premier League clubs will need to turn their gaze elsewhere. Earlier this month it was reported that City had already decided he was not the player for them.
But the Red Devils link has continued through to this week. Whether or not Atletico boss Diego Simeone wants a reunion with his former striker is open to debate.
The Argentine recently said: “I want the best for him and I hope he will succeed at Barcelona.
“He is at an extraordinary club and Antoine is a complete player. At Euro 2020, he again proved he can bring a lot [to a team] regardless of his positioning.”
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