Antoine Griezmann could be on his way out of Barcelona this summer. The Hard Tackle lists three potential destinations for the Frenchman.
He was once one of the most revered players in the game, even going toe to toe with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the race to win the coveted Ballon d’Or. In the last few years, though, Antoine Griezmann’s stock has been steadily on the wane.
In particular, the move to Barcelona has not panned out as he would have envisioned. The transfer came after much controversy as the French international had publicly announced his decision to stay put at Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup before finally completing the move a year later in a contentious manner, as Los Rojiblancos alleged that Barcelona did not pay the actual release fee to sign him.
Nevertheless, Griezmann was touted to be a game-changing signing for Barcelona, who were seeing Luis Suarez enter the twilight of his career. This, in turn, was constantly driving up the dependence on Messi, who had too much to do far too often. Griezmann, though, would go a long way in addressing that issue, in theory. However, that has surely not turned out to be the case, for the most part.
Cutting a pale shadow of the player who played a pivotal role in France’s World Cup triumph while also being a prolific figure for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann has been well off his best, which has only been seen in fits and starts.
It has now emerged that Barcelona might be ready to cut their losses on the 29-year-old and have slapped a €60 million price tag on him. The Hard Tackle takes a look at the clubs that could potentially afford him.
The obvious pick, and for various reasons. PSG are currently in a precarious position pertaining to the future of Kylian Mbappe, who is yet to put pen to a new deal. While certain reports have suggested that the Frenchman could be set to sign a bumper new contract, other quarters have claimed that a summer move could well be on the horizon.
To that end, both Liverpool and Real Madrid have been touted as potential destinations, whereas Manchester United have recently emerged as a possible option as well. If Mbappe does end up departing Parc des Princes, PSG would be in desperate need of a top-class replacement, which is where Griezmann comes in.
While he has not always delivered the goods at Barcelona, he could potentially get the chance to play centrally in the French capital, where he will be an upgrade on Mauro Icardi and Moise Kean, meaning even if Mbappe stays, he could create a formidable three-pronged attacking unit, also comprising of former Barcelona superstar Neymar.
Therefore, the links with PSG do make sense, especially considering that the French champions are the only outfit that can possibly afford both his transfer fee as well as his wages, which amount to as much as £600,000 per week as per some reports. A move that could be a perfect fit in terms of sporting and financial perspectives.
Transfer Likelihood Rating: 8/10
One of those clubs that have been linked with Griezmann for the longest time. In fact, for a couple of years before his links with Barcelona emerged, it was mooted that the French international would be on his way to Old Trafford instead. Ahead of the summer, it is being reported that Manchester United could once again be tailing Griezmann.
The Red Devils could potentially afford Griezmann’s transfer fee as well as his wages in theory, considering they had Alexis Sanchez on an astronomical salary not too long ago. Having said that, the Sanchez debacle would surely be fresh in their minds to this day and it can be certain that Manchester United would be wary of swooping Griezmann away from Barcelona.
Apart from the financial sense, it does not really make sense to gamble on Griezmann from a sporting perspective either. While the 29-year-old could theoretically slot in as the central striker and be Edinson Cavani’s successor as well as a potential upgrade on the underperforming Anthony Martial, his arrival will surely hamper the progress of Mason Greenwood, who is starting to be used as a striker once again.
As suggested by Manchester United’s reluctance to take a plunge on Jadon Sancho and affect Greenwood’s immediate development while being used on the right-wing, it is unlikely that Antoine Griezmann will arrive at Old Trafford to play centrally, especially considering it is nigh on impossible that he will be deployed as the no. 10. Therefore, the chances of this transfer happening appear to be relatively slimmer.
Transfer Likelihood Rating: 6/10
One of the destinations where Griezmann can settle in perfectly in the system, at least on paper. At Juventus, Andrea Pirlo has made use of the 4-4-2 formation for much of the ongoing campaign and in such a formation, Griezmann could theoretically be the perfect foil for someone like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Not only will the Frenchman get the chance to play centrally, as he so desires, he will also not be the focal point of the attack with the team likely to operate around him. And, if he can rediscover his best touch, he will be an upgrade on the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata.
However, the recent financial troubles inflicted by the coronavirus mean that affording Griezmann’s wages alongside those of Ronaldo could well be out of the question. While paying the transfer fee might not be as tall an order, it is the wages that could be problematic, meaning Juventus could be facing an uphill battle in their bid to land Griezmann in the summer.
Transfer Likelihood Rating: 5/10