Barcelona Gil Marin rejected immediately
Just days before Barcelona‘s catastrophic Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich, Josep Maria Bartomeu made a surprising proposal to Atletico Madrid.
The Barcelona president offered Antoine Griezmann back to his former club in an exchange deal that would have seen Joao Felix go in the opposite direction.
Atletico weren’t interested in the offer, though, and decided to bat away Bartomeu‘s suggestion.
Bartomeu was willing to give up his big signing from last summer, one which upset a lot of the heavyweights in the dressing room – as they wanted Neymar to return.
It’s just another example of the chaotic and erratic management that Bartomeu has shown in charge of the club, and again showed that managing money is his priority.
Griezmann received 21 million euros as his salary, though that figure is just 18 million euros for his first two seasons, whereas Joao earns just 3.5 million euros net a year.
Miguel Angel Gil Marin didn’t need long to think about the offer, immediately turning it down as Joao Felix is a player he has personally backed at Atletico.
But Gil Marin is still open to looking into a possible return for Griezmann, knowing that his first season in Catalonia didn’t quite go to plan and he struggled to find his feet at Barcelona.
For that to happen, however, Atleti would need to make financial room for the forward and players like Thomas Lemar and Diego Costa would have to be moved on first.
Those two players were then put forward to Bartomeu as possible makeweights in a deal for Griezmann, to which Bartomeu‘s response was the same as Gil Marin’s initial answer.
Seven players had been listed by the club as not for sale at any cost this summer, with Griezmann joining Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ansu Fati, Clement Lenglet, Nelson Semedo, Ousmane Dembele as untouchable.
Luis Suarez and Messi‘s possible exits will change Griezmann‘s role massively and he will become even more prominent under Ronald Koeman.
L’Equipe revealed on Thursday that the Dutchman made it clear to the forward that he’ll be key this season.