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Barca and Atletico 'agree' to Griezmann-Saul swap

Transfer: Barcelona and Atletico 'agree' to Griezmann-Saul swap deal

July 14, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The two Spanish clubs have reportedly reached a consensus on an exchange involving the two players.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are reportedly on the verge of completing a swap deal involving French attacker Antoine Griezmann and Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez ahead of the start of the new season. The rumoured deal is increasingly becoming a possibility with the former looking to offload come of its stars in order to balance its books.

The emergence of the coronavirus has taken a significant toll on the finances of some of Europe's top clubs and Los Blaugrana is no exception. The Spanish club has struggled in recent times, especially as they have several players being paid very high salary. In a bid to meet La Liga's salary cap, the Catalans are being forced to slash the wages of their first team players and have also resorted to parting ways with some of their top stars to mitigate the situation.

As per reports from Spain, Barca superstar Lionel Messi has also been affected by this arrangement, having as much as 50% of his old salary being slashed off in the new contract extension he is yet to sign. The squad overhaul is expected to lighten the weight on the wage structure even further and Antoine Griezmann is said to be the first of a bunch approaching the exit dooor. 

Having joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in 2019, the Frenchman has failed to live up to expectations despite having a few good moments at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana paid the 120 million euro buyout clause to release the 30-year-old attacker form Los Colchoneros but he has only managed 35 goals in 99 appearances since completing the switch. A return to Wanda Metropolitano has been mutted in recent weeks and according to reports from Spain, Saul Niguez is being used as a makeweight.

According to the Catalunya-based newspaper Sport, Barcelona want 15 million euros in addition to Saul for Griezmann, who they are eager to get off their wage bill. The former has already expressed desire to secure a new adventure elsewhere so agreeing to personal teams as well as lesser salary is expected to be easy. At the moment, nothing has been officially agreed yet but significant movement is expected in both camps in the coming days.

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