Barcelona: Pundit backs Antoine Griezmann to leave club
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Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann wants to rejoin Atletico Madrid, according to reports. The France international could leave the Nou Camp this transfer window. And Manchester United and Chelsea are both in the hunt for the striker, who has failed to live up to expectations over the past two years.
Barcelona thought they had struck gold when they signed Griezmann in the summer transfer window of 2019.
However, the France international has failed to live up to expectations over in Catalonia – with the club now open to cutting him loose as a result.
Barcelona have given Griezmann plenty of opportunities but, with the club going through some financial difficulties at the current moment in time, are ready to offload him.
Sport say Manchester United and Chelsea are in the hunt for the 30-year-old, who netted 20 goals from 51 matches last term.
Yet it’s said Griezmann’s preference would be return to Atletico.
Barcelona, however, are unwilling to negotiate with their La Liga rivals – despite their desire to get Greizmann off the wage bill.
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They’re wary of strengthening Diego Simeone’s side, especially after allowing Luis Suarez to move to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium a year ago.
And Barcelona also aren’t open to a swap deal, either.
Reports have suggested Ronald Koeman’s team would be open to landing Saul Niguez, who is determined to leave Atletico behind.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case, with Barcelona looking at a more defensive-minded midfielder to tighten up Koeman’s side instead.
The report also says Juventus are interested in Griezmann amid uncertainty over his Nou Camp future.
However, any deal is likely to hinge on what happens with Cristiano Ronaldo.
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The Old Lady are determined to get the Portugal international off the wage bill as they look to win the Serie A title next term, having lost out to Inter Milan last season.
And whether Juventus press strongly for Griezmann, especially given Barcelona’s reluctance to sell to Atletico, is something only time will tell.
Manchester United previously wanted to sign the France international four years ago, with Jose Mourinho believing he’d the perfect player for his team.
But in the end that didn’t happen, with Atletico’s transfer ban scuppering the Red Devils’ chances of doing a deal.
Chelsea are on the lookout for a new striker, especially with Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham primed to leave.
And though they’re focused on securing the signature of Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Griezmann would certainly be a world-class alternative.
Just last month, Griezmann revealed he’d love to play in the MLS one day.
“My contract with Barcelona is until June of 2024 and after that I think it will be the right time to go to the United States,” he said.
“I love the country, the culture, the NBA and the desire to discover new things draws me there.
“I’d love to finish my career there.”
In March, Griezmann insisted he wouldn’t look to leave Barcelona despite his struggles at the club.
“I feel very good, with my teammates and the coach,” he said.
“I am here to help, be it 10 minutes or 90. I am at the service of the collective.
“It’s time to keep our heads up and feel confidence because of how we played. We need to keep improving. We are hacked off because we were desperate to go through.
“I don’t think we deserved to go out this early but next year we’ll try to win this competition.”
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