Barcelona are desperate to get Antoine Griezmann off his books in order to facilitate the signing of Lionel Messi, who is now a free agent after his previous contract expired earlier this month, according to the report. Griezmann has been heavily linked with a return to Atletico Madrid in recent weeks as Barca look to raise funds ahead of the new campaign.
The Catalan giants are currently in the midst of a financial crisis, the scale of which is hampering their efforts to renew Messi’s contract.
The mercurial striker is officially not attached to Barca for the first time since joining the club as a 13-year-old prodigy, but is largely expected to stay at Camp Nou until next season and beyond.
Despite the apparent confidence of club president Joan Laporta, there is still a lot of work to be done to secure Messi’s signing for the foreseeable future.
A deal has reportedly been reached between the two sides, but Barca’s financial situation prevents it from being approved.
Meanwhile, next season’s salary cap in La Liga is expected to hover around £ 200million, meaning a number of players will need to be sold to bolster the club’s hopes of retaining Messi over the weeks and weeks. months to come.
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Griezmann could be set to make his way as part of Barca’s summer exodus, with Atletico keen to bring the Frenchman back to the Spanish capital.
The 30-year-old’s departure could have a significant implication for Messi’s future, the former being “almost certainly incompatible” with Laporta’s plans to keep the Argentina international, according to The Guardian.
It is claimed that a return to Atletico for Griezmann would offer the quickest solution to Barca’s dilemma by saving up to £ 70million in depreciation costs.
The monetary boost obtained through such a move would go a long way in allowing Messi to sign on a free transfer while also helping the club’s dire financial situation.
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A swap deal involving Atletico’s Griezmann and Saul Niguez has reportedly been filed, with Barca still weighing their options as their desperation increases.
Laporta recently said he could not consider anything other than Messi at the club next season, but warned that departures would be required to allow the striker’s new deal to be finalized.
“Leo Messi’s shoes will continue on the Camp Nou pitch,” Laporta said last month.
“He wants to stay. I’m not considering a no. It’s not easy, we’ll do what we can. There’s no need to seduce him, he’s determined if there is a series of circumstances. to stay.
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“He’s fine but he hasn’t signed yet. [Sergio] Kun Aguero says to him every day: ‘Sign this, we will play together’.
“In economic terms he made it very easy, but financial fair play is another battleground. We have to follow the rules, we will follow them.
“There will be more sales and loans. Without paying transfer fees. We will do a lot of loans because we have a very high sports payroll compared to other clubs.”