Barcelona is looking for every means possible to lower its wage bill and drag itself out of its current financial mess. The Catalan giants had to activate several levers that included selling off part of their assets to fund the acquisition of players this summer.
One of the reasons the club finds itself in this mess is the heavy investments it made in players in the past. Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu are the brains behind the colossal fall of Los Blaugrana. The current Barcelona president Joan Laporta is trying to correct the anomalies and has looked to sell off players and lower the wage bill at the Nou Camp.
Selling some of their players has been easier said than done. The situation Los Blaugrana finds itself in seems to have lowered the market value of these players. One of the thorny issues Barcelona faces is the case of French striker Antoine Griezmann. Barcelona have concluded that they cannot get optimum value for Griezmann, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid.
Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona is one of the most expensive transfer deals in the game. The deal is said to have cost the Catalan giants around €120 million. Ironically, the experiment has failed, with Griezmann failing to deliver on the goods in his Barca spell.
After failing to hit the heights, Griezmann was loaned back to Atletico Madrid. The France international finds himself in an awkward situation, where Los Rojiblancos are using him sparingly due to the previous clause on a deal with Barcelona. Griezmann hoped to reignite his career at the Wanda Metropolitano but is in the crossfire between Atletico and Barcelona.
Following the melee between the two Spanish giants, Barcelona has decided to cut their losses and move on.
Atletico Madrid also has financial issues, but not as bad as what Barcelona is going through. The red and whites are sanguine about their current situation and see the resolution of the Griezmann impasse as a big boost.
Diego Simeone is a massive fan of Griezmann. Despite protests by the Atletico hierarchy, he was instrumental in the controversial decision to resign from the France international. Griezmann returned to Atletico from Barcelona on a two-year long loan arrangement. According to the terms in the deal, it would be compulsory for Atletico to sign the player permanently at the end of the spell for €40million (£34m).
The problematic clause also rests on Griezmann playing a minimum number of minutes. Atletico tried to find a way around the clause to avoid paying the set amount. The forward has started just two of the matches Atletico has played this season. The France international has been a regular feature from the bench after the hour-mark in games. It was a club decision rather than by Simeone.
Griezmann will now sign a three-and-a-half-year contract with Atletico that will run till 2026. It is likely his last contract, as it will see him through to his 35th birthday.
The forward had netted 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atleti during his first spell before scoring 35 times across two seasons at the Camp Nou.