Barcelona’s ‘secret plan’ for Antoine Griezmann amid Tottenham transfer interest

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Barcelona have been forced to consider making drastic wage reductions to keep Antoine Griezmann if a transfer cannot be arranged. Barca are desperate to sell the French attacker to reduce their expenditure but have reportedly also discussed a ‘secret plan’ in case they can’t find a buyer or Griezmann refuses to leave.

Griezmann has been linked with Tottenham, Manchester City, Juventus and Atletico Madrid in the past week, with Barcelona making it clear they want to sell.

The Spanish giants began the summer transfer window by announcing the arrivals of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, as well as the return of Emerson Royal from a loan spell.

A new five-year contract has also reportedly been agreed with Lionel Messi, painting the picture of a productive window for the club.

However, all is not as it seems: Barcelona currently can’t even register their new arrivals, or Messi, because of their perilous financial situation.

Barca have a whopping £1,003million (€1,173m) of debt hanging over their head and owe £276m (€323m) in transfer and player amortization fees.

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They need to get around £171m (€200m) off their wage bill this summer just to meet La Liga’s strict salary cap for the 2021/22 season.

That is where the likes of Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho come in. Their sales would provide valueful transfer fees and reduce the unsustainable wage bill.

The problem is that, so far, no one is willing to take the players off Barcelona’s hands and, as the La Liga season approaches, the club are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

L’Equipe reports that Barcelona have reached out to Spurs and Man City to offer Griezmann after making similar approaches to Atletico Madrid and Juventus.

Swap deals for Atleti’s Saul Niguez and Juve’s Paulo Dybala were mooted but both appear to be non-starters.

That has forced Barca to consider whether they could afford to keep Griezmann alongside their new arrivals next season.


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According to Sport, this ‘secret plan’ involves lowering the wages of others because that is the ‘only way to keep Griezmann in the squad’.

No solution has been found yet and Barca must be looking back at the £107m (€120m) release clause they paid Atletico two years ago and wincing.

Griezmann signed a five-year contract worth around £300,000 per week in 2019 and is reportedly not keen on leaving this summer, unless it is back to former club Atleti.

As a member of his entourage told L’Équipe: “Antoine is not ready to accept any conditions to leave, simply because Barcelona find themselves in a complicated situation [financially].”

The clock is ticking and it remains to be seen whether Barcelona can successfully balance their books to comply with La Liga’s salary cap. Something has to give.

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