Barcelona have reportedly identified Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann as a potential replacement for Neymar.
Spanish publication Sport have reported that Antoine Griezmann has been identified as the latest candidate to replace Neymar in the Barcelona attack. The Catalan club, though, will have to pay his €200 million buyout clause in its entirety to secure the player’s services this summer.
Griezmann has risen the hierarchial ranks in world football quickly. The Frenchman is now one of the most feared forwards in the game after a remarkable couple of seasons at Atletico Madrid.
The player has bagged 83 goals and 25 assists in 160 appearances for the club – a direct contribution every 114 minutes. Suffice to say, he has become one of the most highly sought-after players in the transfer market.
Barcelona will look to Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann to replace Neymar, if he is to leave. pic.twitter.com/vxnLwHpP8N
— PurelyFootball UK (@PurelyFootball) July 30, 2017
In fact, Griezmann had looked set to join Manchester United this summer before Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban was upheld, meaning they cannot register any player in the summer transfer window.
Following the announcement, Griezmann had pledged his future to Los Rojiblancos, affirming that he would not leave the club this summer, while also penning a new long-term deal with them. However, Barcelona are now set to test the resolve of their La Liga rivals by making a move for their star player.
The Catalan club have endured a disastrous time in this summer’s transfer window, having failed to land their primary targets thus far. Things are threatening to go into further disarray, with star winger, Neymar being heavily linked with a sensational move to PSG.
The fact that the Brazilian has had a few run-ins off the pitch has not helped matters either, and with Les Parisiens willing to pay his €222 million release clause, it is only a matter of when than if as far as this transfer saga is concerned.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) August 1, 2017
Therefore, Barcelona have now been left scrambling to find a replacement for Neymar quickly with only a few more weeks left before the transfer window slams shut. And having considered the likes of Paulo Dybala, Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, the Blaugrana have now turned their attention towards Griezmann.
As per the report, Barcelona need immediate results from Neymar’s replacement, and with the France international’s proving his credentials in La Liga, he is a viable target. Moreover, the player’s eye for goal and work rate make him an ideal fit in Ernesto Valverde’s system.
And although he has played more centrally at Atletico, Griezmann has also shown that he is adept at playing on the left side of attack, making him the perfect replacement for Neymar. A potential stumbling block, though, is his buyout clause, which now stands at €200 million, following the penning of the aforementioned renewal.
Barcelona are set to enter negotiations with Atletico over lowering his transfer fee, but Los Rojiblancos are unlikely to budge in their valuation of the player. It will also be interesting to see if Griezmann turns his back on Atletico having previously publicly committed his future to them if Barcelona come calling.