Barcelona are eyeing an ambitious summer transfer swap deal as they will offer Antoine Griezmann to his former club Atletico Madrid in a bid to land Joao Felix.
Griezmann moved to the Camp Nou from Atletico in a £105million transfer two years ago but despite netting 34 goals at the Catalan giants, he has failed to find his best form at the club.
The France international had become a star player at Atleti under Diego Simeone, scoring at a rate better than a goal every two games with 133 strikes across five prolific seasons.
There are set to be drastic changes at the Blaugrana this summer after a second successive season without a league title, another underwhelming campaign in Europe and the club’s worrying financial state.
However, Diario AS cite Spanish TV station TV3's Onze show in claiming that a swap deal between Griezmann and Portuguese star Joao Felix is possible this summer due to the presence of agent Jorge Mendes.
Joao Felix was Griezmann’s de facto replacement for Griezmann in 2019, as Atletico smashed their club record transfer fee to land the Portuguese star in a £109million deal from Benfica.
However, 16 of the 21-year-old’s 30 La Liga appearances this campaign were as a substitute and he has failed to progress under Simeone, where he has struggled to fit in stylistically despite his immense talent.
His agent Mendes is said to have a close relationship with new Barcelona president Joan Laporta which could facilitate a move Felix to the Camp Nou.
This deal would have several complications, primarily relating to the Blaugrana’s precarious financial position and mounting debt, while Griezmann is nine years older than the Portuguese forward so it would appear unlikely Atleti would countenance such a deal without a notable financial incentive.
Indeed, Barcelona are likely to require significant financial reductions this summer with players – including Griezmann – potentially being asked to accept a wage cut.
It was reported on Tuesday that the club had secured a €500m loan from an American investment bank, but that is likely to pay off outstanding debts and monies rather than in the transfer market.
The club’s summer budget is likely to be defined by the outcome of their contractual offer to Lionel Messi – who will be a free agent on 30 June and could theoretically leave as a free agent.
The Argentine is the highest earner in world football and his renewal would see the club’s ability to make signings significantly reduced.
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