With the cards dealt and the bets on the table, Gil Marin Y Joan Laporta They look into each other’s eyes for a sign of weakness. No one wants to be the first to launch the ordeal, but there is an asset that can turn the final development of the game around: the will to Antoine Griezmann. Barcelona has ruled out the barter with Saúl in search of a better economic agreement because he is convinced that Atlético has already reached a deal with the Frenchman, but now he must face his salary and that exceeds his possibilities in the salary limit unless juggle. They cannot maintain it and that is known to both Gil Marín and Griezmann himself, who are convinced that time is their best ally. In fact, they are prepared to wait, if necessary, until September 2, the last day of the market.
But in the game of cat and mouse in which the two clubs have engaged, there is another variant that determines everything, the future of Saúl Ñíguez. The Alicante player no longer enters Atlético’s plans, especially after the Argentine’s arrival Rodrigo De Paul, predestined to wrest most of his prominence from him. Selling Saúl, one of the players with the highest salary in the squad – seven million euros a year – is crucial to be able to face the arrival of Griezmann. Speaking clear: If Saúl doesn’t come out, French can’t come in.
Once the barter with Barcelona has been ruled out, it only remains to sell it outside of Spain. Liverpool seems to be the most interested, with a proposal that would be around 40 million euros fixed plus another 10 in variables. It is far from what Atlético wanted to achieve, for which he was called to be one of the best midfielders in the world of his generation, but as the market is and, above all, after the player’s last two seasons, he will hardly be able to opt for something better.
Once Saúl is sold, the second part will arrive: to convince Barcelona, which now intends to obtain a significant economic amount in exchange for Griezmann’s freedom. And it is that, of course, After what happened last year with Suárez, it would be impossible to justify reinforcing a direct rival with a player for whom 135 million euros -120 plus 15 in variants have been paid just two seasons ago-… to that same club. As much as Atlético takes over the Frenchman’s record, the feeling of weakness that Joan Laporta would emit would be enormous.
The solution for Barcelona is to transfer Griezmann out of Spain. There you avoid problems, but again you hit a wall: first find a club willing to pay a transfer and take charge of your salary; second, to convince the player to agree. And yes, it is true that If the Frenchman refuses, he can be declared in absentia, but it would be necessary to continue paying him the card in full and that, of course, is not a good deal. Tomorrow, Tuesday, they will begin to see what the intentions of the Frenchman are, who must return to training with Barcelona.
In the end, all roads lead to an agreement between Atlético and Barcelona that does not erode the relations between the two clubs. Perhaps the solution is an assignment with a mandatory purchase option that allows Griezmann’s first amortization period to be transferred to the following season. Thus, some can register Messi in the League and others the French, escaping salary control. That seems the most logical solution but the truth is that we are still in the middle of the game and no one has yet shown their cards. It’s going to be long, so you better get comfortable.
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.