Griezmann, Saul swap deal
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are planning an audacious swap deal involving two of their most well-known players.
French international Antoine Griezmann’s future has been of much debate over the last few weeks since his national side’s eliminations from the European Championships.
The same can be said for the Spanish international Saul Niguez who was unable to earn a spot under Luis Enrique at the Euros, and often being a secondary option for Diego Simeone this season for his club side Atleti.
With Barcelona looking at bringing in players which cost them little-to-no transfer fee, a swap involving the pair makes sense.
The Blaugrana have already brought in Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia without paying a transfer fee.
💥 Informa Paco González
🔴⚪ @AntoGriezmann volverá al Metropolitano
🔵🔴 @saulniguez jugará en el Barça
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) July 14, 2021
Spanish outlet CCMA report that Barcelona are set to save a significant amount with the swap financially.
Barcelona, meanwhile, saves the pay gap between Griezmann and Saúl, which is about half ( about 12 million gross per season ), and the redundancies, which will range from 60 to 70 million euros.
Liverpool had been credited with an interest in Saul but will seemingly need to search elsewhere.
Where will Saul and Griezmann fit in?
Atletico won La Liga last season with the help of former Barca forward Luis Suarez. With a single year left on his deal, Griezmann’s arrival would cover the loss of the Uruguayan for the short-term at least.
It does throw up questions as to how Simeone sees Joao Felix. The record-breaking acquisition of the Portuguese forward has yet to bear fruit. Yes Atletico won the league, but Felix was not an integral figure throughout the season. Instead having periodic good spells.
Griezmann and Suarez will have links from their time at the Camp Nou and so should be able to work together again.
For Barcelona, they missed out on Gini Wijnaldum from Liverpool. The Dutch midfielder instead choosing to join PSG.
Saul will likely fill the central midfield role for Ronald Koeman that Wijnaldum would have done. Likely to play alongside Frenkie de Jong, should the Dutchman not be sold as part of the club’s mass exodus this summer.
With Barcelona previously swapping Arthur for Miralem Pjanic to the surprise of so many, a swap of this manner is a further sign of a change under new president Joan Laporta to put the club back on the correct path.