Barcelona are ready to offer Antoine Griezmann to Atlético Madrid as part of a swap deal which will see Saul Niguez join the Catalan giants, according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo (via Into the Calderon).
The motive behind letting Antoine Griezmann leave is similar to every other departure from Barcelona. The Blaugrana are currently in a bleak financial position. Due to their high wage bill, Barcelona are unable to offer a new deal to Lionel Messi.
Barcelona will be forced to sell some of their high-wage earners this summer, including Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman has failed to establish himself as a regular in Ronald Koeman’s starting XI and now faces an exit from the Nou Camp to his former club Atlético Madrid.
In return, Barcelona want midfield general Saul Niguez. Despite Atleti winning the La Liga title last season, Saul had minimal impact on Diego Simeone’s side and is now seeking a new challenge. Los Rojiblancos are willing to listen to offers for Saul with Liverpool showing keen interest.
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Barcelona see Saul Niguez as potential alternative to Gini Wijnaldum
Barcelona came extremely close to signing Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool on a free transfer. However, the 30-year-old Dutch international decided to join Paris Saint-Germain due to a better financial package.
Ronald Koeman is still rocked by losing Wijnaldum to PSG this summer. However, Saul Niguez could be an adequate alternative.
Similar to Wijnaldum, Saul is also capable of playing as a box-to-box midfielder and comes with a ton of La Liga experience, having represented Atlético Madrid 227 times in the league.
Furthermore, Saul’s salary would be significantly lower compared to Antoine Griezmann’s. Barcelona have already signed Sergio Agüero and Memphis Depay on free transfers to cover up for the sale of any forwards.
Meanwhile, the Catalan giants are in dire need of signing a central midfielder to replace the outgoing Miralem Pjanic and an aging Sergio Busquets. Barcelona do, however, have some exciting young midfielders in Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.
Atlético Madrid are close to completing the signing of Argentinian midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, which could see Saul leave the Wanda Metropolitano this summer.
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