According to ESPN, Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu is interested in signing Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann but other club executives is against the move. Griezmann was close to joining the La Liga champions last summer but decided to stay with Atletico Madrid.
The France international announced live via Gerard’s Pique agency stating he won’t be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano. However, the world cup winners is said to be considering his future again after another season of disappointment with Atletico Madrid.
The Rojiblancos are out of the champions league after suffering a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus. The La Liga title also looks to be slipping away with Diego Simeone men 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.
According to ESPN, Griezmann is now having a change of heart and has now offered himself to Barcelona. Though some Barcelona executives are not willing to sanction a move for the 28 year old, President Josep Bartomeu wants the club make the move for the former Real Sociedad man.
“It’s something which has passed the majority of the people at the club by — the Griezmann issue is something being directly dealt with by the president,” a source have told ESPN FC.
Barcelona have already agreed a deal to sign Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong to strengthen in midfield and are working hard to sign his teammate Matthijs de Ligt. The club are also looking for a left-back to provide competition for Jordi Alba and a long-term replacement for striker Luis Suarez.
Those generally in charge of ins and outs at Camp Nou insist that Griezmann does not fit the profile of forward they are targeting, with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic one of the players being extensively watched.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo confirmed on Thursday the information first reported by ESPN FC two weeks ago: Griezmann would be willing to take a significant pay cut to push through a move to Camp Nou.
Any gesture from Griezmann would help alleviate the problems Barca have fitting him into their spiralling wage bill, but the deal remains complicated on a financial level. The club would have to sell at least two big players to be able to pay his €120 million release clause.
“Right now, Barcelona don’t have €120m to deposit [the clause] with La Liga,” a source at the club confirmed. Therefore, Barca would have to take some drastic decisions in terms of sales if they decide to move for Griezmann.
All the focus would fall on Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled to get started since arriving from Liverpool as the club’s £142m record signing. Defender Samuel Umtiti, who still has a fine reputation despite struggling with injuries this season, would also be in the spotlight.