With Barcelona desperate to get their wage bill under control, the plan this offseason is to offload a number of players. They’ve done so with a handful of players like Junior Firpo and Carles Aleña to name a few.
However, these nickel and dime transfers are only making a small dent in their issue. As a result, the Catalans know they need to get rid of a big name player. That big name player appears to be Antoine Griezmann.
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According to a story in ESPN’s transfer talk, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made a personal call to the Frenchman to about a possible transfer to the blue side of Manchester.
Griezmann is coming off a decent showing at Euro 2020 despite France getting knocked out by Switzerland in the round of 16.
While City had Tottenham striker Harry Kane as their top priority, the figures reported that would be necessary to pry him away from Spurs has resulted in the club looking for other alternatives.
Barcelona are more than willing to depart with Griezmann should the right offer come along. They are aware that no one is likely to pay what they did when they acquired him from Atletico Madrid but they wouldn’t lose out as heavily as they would for someone like Philippe Coutinho.
If any club has the financial means to offer what Barcelona would be looking for, it’s Manchester City.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could be interested in a swap deal
Manchester City are not the only club who have been linked with Griezmann. There are reports that he could also go back to his former side, Atletico Madrid.
According to Mundo Deportivo, a swap between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could be on the table that would see Griezmann go back to Cholo Simeone’s side with midfielder Saúl Ñíguez going the other way.
Manager Ronald Koeman would not stand in the way of the proposed deal as he wants another midfielder after missing out on Georginio Wijnaldum.
Saúl is a player Barcelona have had their eye on before although they now face competition from Liverpool who already had a bit rejected by the Colchoneros.
A swap deal would benefit both sides as Griezmann is a player Simeone admires and would fill a hole they’ve yet to replace when he left. Barcelona would get their box-to-box midfielder that Koeman has been wanting.
The wages that Griezmann is currently on would be the obstacle in a potential move but Atletico Madrid believe he would be willing to take a pay cut.
In Griezmann’s case, a move could be his best solution. Things have not worked out as expected in his two seasons at Barcelona and he would be returning to a club where they got the best out of him and was an integral part of their system.