Exclusive – Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann’s agent has met with a handful of Premier League sides to discuss a transfer, but Atletico Madrid are still well ahead in the race for his signature.
Talks are underway between the two Spanish sides over an agreement that allows Griezmann to return to Wanda Metropolitano in exchange for midfielder Saul Niguez, who has been made available for the transfer of Atletico.
Saul could join Barcelona in exchange / Soccrates Images / Getty Images
Both sides are keen on the deal, with Barcelona desperate to get Griezmann’s salary from the books to help them write about Lionel Messi, but they would prefer to see the Frenchman move from La Liga instead to the same team that just won the title with Luis Suarez in their ranks.
Griezmann has been offered to a number of clubs across Europe, and sources have confirmed in 90 minutes that the 30-year-old’s agent and sister, Maud, has spoken to at least two Premier League clubs this month.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have all become aware that Griezmann is available for a small fee, with Barcelona prepared to eat a huge loss of the £ 107 million they paid to sign him two years ago just to get his salary out. the book.
Elsewhere, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have been contacted, but Atletico are still heavy favorites to reach an agreement.
Athletics manager Diego Simeone has played an important role in the deal. He is still a big fan of Griezmann, who he turned into one of the deadliest forwards between 2014 and 2019, and is determined to reconnect with the Frenchman.
Simeone is keen to reunite with Griezmann / Soccrates Images / Getty Images
A return to Wanda Metropolitano is seen as the most likely option for Griezmann, and although Barcelona prefer not to do the deal, their top priority is to sign Messi and unless an English side come in with a similar offer, they have no choice but to to send Griezmann back to Atletico.
Messi has agreed on a new contract with a significant reduction in salary, but he will still be one of the highest paid players in the world when he eventually logs in, and keeping Griezmann’s huge salary is simply not feasible.