Atletico Madrid Close To Signing Antoine Griezmann Permanently From FC Barcelona

Atletico Madrid are close to signing Antoine Griezmann from FC Barcelona on a permanent basis, according to reports.

The Frenchman joined Barca for a €120mn ($132mn) fee from Atleti in the summer of 2019 on the watch of former president Josep Bartomeu, which made him the fifth most expensive player of all time.

But despite his best efforts, the 31-year-old never truly fit in at Camp Nou and was returned to his former club on loan in 2021 after having won just one trophy in Blaugrana colors, the Copa del Rey, earlier that year.

Griezmann was reunited with former coach Diego Simeone and his reigning La Liga champion outfit has scored important goals such as the one that recently knocked Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United side out of the Champions League last 16.

According to El Desmarque, Simeone has seen enough and is ready to make the move permanent as needs to be done if ‘Grizi’ appears in over 50% of the games he is available for this season.

Thus far, with the best part of two months left to play in the current campaign, Griezmann has run out in 66% of those matches which means that Atleti must hand over €40mn ($44mn) to the Catalans.

Once the money has been received, Barca can then use it to pay over half of Erling Haaland’s release clause or the commissions due to his agent Mino Raiola and father Alfe Inge Haaland – take your pick.

Should the club currently mired in debts circling $1.5bn not manage to put together the rest of the $338mn that needs to be stumped up for the Norwegian prodigy, however, it will go a long way to landing Barca’s Plan B Robert Lewandowski who reportedly agreed terms with them at the weekend.

The Poland captain only has one year left on his contract at Bayern Munich, and Barca have been reported as willing to table €50-60mn ($55mn-$66mn) to land one of the sport’s greatest ever strikers.

As for Griezmann, he is currently on international duty with France and has scored eight goals in 25 appearances for Atletico Madrid in 2021/2022.