Soccer

Barcelona admit ‘there’s a market for Griezmann’ as Laporta reacts to Atletico Madrid & Man City talk

The Blaugrana president is aware of “interest” in the World Cup-winning forward, with the Liga giants looking to raise funds from sales

Barcelona president Joan Laporta admits “there’s a market” for Antoine Griezmann this summer, with the World Cup-winning forward being linked with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City.

The talented France international is tied to a contract at Camp Nou through to 2024, meaning the Blaugrana are under no pressure to sell, but the Liga giants need to raise funds through sales that will allow them to register new arrivals and thrash out fresh terms with Lionel Messi.

With that in mind, Laporta concedes that a deal could be done that takes Griezmann away from Catalunya, with swap offers set to be considered if such an approach is made.

What has been said?

Laporta told reporters at the official unveiling of summer signing Memphis Depay: “Griezmann is a Barca player, he has a contract with the club until 2024 and, unless circumstances change, we are counting on him.

“There have been some movements on the market and we can’t deny that there’s been interest in him. That’s a sign of his quality.

“It’s a special market and you have to use your imagination, perhaps thinking in swap deals, but we value Antoine a lot. The club made a big investment in him and we are happy with him.

“It’s not easy for a club to come in with an offer for a player at his level. But the transfer window is just getting started and there’s a market for Griezmann.

“If things start moving, we’re open to all proposals because we’re in a delicate moment financially and we have to balance the books to comply with the league’s financial fair play rules.”

Where will Griezmann be playing in 2021-22?

Antoine Griezmann France Euro 2020

A return to Atletico two years on from making a big-money move to Barca continues to be mooted for the Frenchman.

Trade deals have been speculated on there, with Saul Niguez and Joao Felix said to be potential options that could be exchanged by the Spanish champions for a familiar face.

There is, however, long-standing interest from England in the 30-year-old and City are the latest to be linked, with Pep Guardiola in the market for another frontman after seeing Sergio Aguero head to Barcelona as a free agent.

Manchester United are also seeing speculation build regarding supposed interest in another goalscorer, and they have had Griezmann on their radar in the past.

Another potential landing spot could be Paris Saint-Germain, with the big-spending Ligue 1 heavyweights looking to freshen up their ranks as questions are asked of Kylian Mbappe’s future at Parc des Princes.

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