Antoine Griezmann Could Return To FC Barcelona This Summer With Atletico Not Obliged To Purchase Him

Atletico Madrid are not obliged to purchase Antoine Griezmann, who could return to FC Barcelona this summer.

The World Cup winner joined Barca for a €120mn ($132mn) fee from Atletico in 2019 under the rule of former president Josep Bartomeu, and is still the fifth most expensive player of all time due to the transfer.

Despite his best efforts, though, the 31-year-old found it hard to fit in at Camp Nou with Lionel Messi and returned to his former club on loan after two seasons while winning just a single trophy for the Catalans in the Copa del Rey.

On Monday, several outlets in Spain reported that Atletico were ready to make the move permanent and are obliged to pay €40mn ($44mn) to Barca if the Frenchman appeared in over 50% of the matches he was available for this year.

Griezmann has thus far completed 66% of them, scoring eight goals in 25 appearances and again proving himself vital to Diego Simeone’s cause with vital strikes such as the header that recently dumped Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United out of the Champions League last 16 at Old Trafford.

According to Goal, however, there is no obligation to purchase Griezmann permanently and/or cough up the quoted €40mn ($44mn) for the forward at the end of the currnet campaign.

In short, Griezmann’s loan only runs to June 30 this year, after which he could have his arrangement extended another season at the Wanda or make a sensational return to the FC Barcelona fold.

Griezmann reportedly reduced his salary by 40% to rejoin Atleti, and him rocking up in Catalonia again would disrupt Barca on both a financial and sporting level.

The former number ‘7’ allegedly earned €17mn ($18.8mn) per year at Barca, and their salary limit of -€144mn ($158.8mn) next season makes his return pretty much impossible in terms of making the numbers work.

Current coach Xavi Hernandez has already got his side’s attack up and running too, and with the comeback of Ansu Fati getting under this week plus the January signing of Ferran Torres, the front line and its left flank is spoken for.

At the same time, however, Atleti might be more than willing to extend Griezmann’s stay for another 12 months – after which they would then be obliged to pay the quoted amount for Griezmann if he appears in more than 50% of the games he is available for. in 2022/2023

This will take a load off Barca’s shoulders for good, or help them kick the can down the road for another year.