FC Barcelona have put Antoine Griezmann on the market and will attempt to sell him this summer, reports have claimed.
Just a few months ago, at the turn of the year, a big news story out of Catalonia told of how the Frenchman had apparently given the green light to a Camp Nou return for Neymar, currently plying his trade at PSG.
“Nothing is further from reality,” wrote Fernando Polo in Mundo Deportivo at the time, of whispers that the World Cup winner had opposed a repurchasing of the forward, who left them in a world record transfer in 2017.
“On the contrary, Griezmann would not have any problem or put up any obstacles or inconveniences upon the arrival of the Brazilian,” it was added.
“He knows he can lose some prominence, but he signed for five seasons and knows that the more quality [there is] in the team, the better,” Polo explained further, with his information apparently obtained by sources close to the star.
Yet over at rival publication SPORT this morning, a headline spread alleges that Barça have already put their July 2019 signing on the market, meaning that the pair may never feature alongside one another in Blaugrana colors.
Quipping that Griezmann “already came through the back door at FC Barcelona because the changing room considered that such a player was not necessary,” Albert Masnou details how the Catalans would be willing to sell him for around $110mn, which would represent a small loss on the $129mn that was handed over to Atletico Madrid for his services less than a year ago.
Interested parties include Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and PSG – with the latter perhaps open to entertaining a cash-plus-Griezmann deal for Neymar.
If the Parisians have truly reduced Neymar’s value to $167mn, this could make him available for around $60mn with Griezmann on the table too, or more close to $90-100mn if the unique Webster Ruling is utilized.
Meanwhile, AS’ Barça correspondent Javi Miguel has torn into SPORT and accused its director Ernest Folch of waging a vendetta of hatred against Griezmann, while also scoffing that moving the number 17 on would be an “absolute wreck” during an early hours Twitter rant.
Club legend Rivaldo would certainly not agree with the action, despite having vocally supported Neymar’s return on various occasions.
Though stating his belief that he didn’t think it was time to already sell the player, however, he was critical of Grizi’s impact in his maiden campaign.
“Many Barça fans were expecting much more from Antoine Griezmann in his first season at Barcelona, especially without [Philippe] Coutinho as well as Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele due to injury,” Rivaldo began, adding later that, “A world champion, who is well-adapted to Spanish football after his time at Atletico Madrid, would be expected to make a bigger impact at Camp Nou.”
“His first season is reminding me of Coutinho’s. Both were playing great football when they arrived at the club but didn’t manage to replicate it at Barcelona,” it was also said.
And even in light of the obvious quality Griezmann boasts, it is perhaps these points that have pushed top brass to seek a way out for an individual who wakes up the morning after his 29th birthday to this news.