Griezmann’s return to Atletico Madrid after two seasons seems to be off, as talks between Barcelona and Atletico for a swap deal have broken down.
Griezmann, 30, has been effectively placed on the market by Barcelona, as the Catalan club seeks to solve a financial problem by selling many high-earning players.
All but a few important players at Camp Nou are available at the right price this summer, as Joan Laporta and the Barça board remain focused on re-signing and re-registering Lionel Messi in a manner that does not violate La Liga’s stringent salary budget restrictions.
Griezmann has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid in recent days, where he spent five seasons and scored 133 goals before joining Barcelona in rather tumultuous circumstances in 2019.
He was said to be returning to Diego Simeone’s side in a part-exchange deal in which Liverpool and Manchester United-linked midfielder Saul iguez would go in the other way.
According to reports, the French World Cup champion had previously talked to Simeone about the possibility of a transfer and was keen on making the move.
When questioned explicitly about Griezmann’s comeback, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said coyly that “everything is possible”
However, SPORT claims that the agreement has fallen through, with Barça reluctant to let Griezmann go on a low note after being stung by Luis Suarez’s summer move to the Spanish city.
According to SPORT, Atleti were unable and unwilling to stump up €20 million in addition to the cost of acquiring a replacement for Griezmann.
Additionally, Barça preferred a trade involving forward Joao Felix than one involving Saul.
With that agreement now dead, Griezmann – who is the club’s second highest earner behind Messi and is under contract until 2024 – has become a ‘challenge’ for the club.
SPORT reports, however, that Barça remain optimistic that a Premier League team would intervene and rescue the day.
Manchester United and Chelsea are mentioned as potential bidders, while Juventus is also mentioned. Whether there is genuine intelligence that the three of trio is interested or whether this is just conjecture needs to be seen.
Manchester City reportedly ruled out an offer for Griezmann last week, while just a handful of other teams globally would be able to fund a deal.