Barcelona have put the brakes on Antoine Griezmann’s potential return to Atletico Madrid by demanding more money or players in the swap deal which involves Saul Niguez going the other way. Negotiations have moved quickly this week and there is a willingness from all parties to get the deal done.
Griezmann of course left Atletico to join Barcelona in controversial fashion back in the summer of 2019.
Barca caused a stir by activating Griezmann’s £107million buyout clause shortly after it had dropped from £170m.
The World Cup winner had announced that May that he was leaving the Wanda Metropolitano and Atletico were adamant negotiations with Barcelona were already underway behind the scenes.
Therefore, they insisted Barca must pay the full £170m release clause, a dispute they later lost.
It’s claimed Barcelona have asked for an extra £13m or Mario Hermoso or Renan Lodi.
Atletico recently made it clear that Lodi is not for sale and that they want to keep the Brazilian left-back.
Both him and Hermoso played a key part in Atletico’s La Liga success last season.
Should the swap deal eventually go through, Griezmann may have a task on his hands trying to get the Atleti fans back on his side after his controversial departure.
He said during his unveiling at Barcelona two years ago: “Regarding Atletico, it’s a pity. I went to see them on purpose so they would not be caught off guard and could prepare for the future.
“We reached an agreement but finally it changed, it’s like that, you have to accept it.”
Barcelona are desperate to trim their wage bill and offloading Griezmann will allow them to push ahead with Lionel Messi’s new contract.
The Argentine wants to stay at Barca but the club are currently tied by a salary cap, meaning they need to offload several players before tying down their star man, who is currently a free agent.