The football World was shocked when FC Barcelona allowed one of their best players, Antoine Griezmann to rejoin their league rivals, Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline night, August 31, 2021.
Griezmann who has played three La Liga games with Barcelona this season without scoring a goal is expected to complete the remaining part of the season at his former club.
The reason why Barcelona allowed him to go is that the Spanish club is broke and in a serious debt worth over £1 billion.
With the departure of Griezmann, Barcelona would save £575,000-per-week which has been the Frenchman’s salary since he left Atlético Madrid on July 14, 2019, for Barca for a transfer fee worth €120 million.
Even though Barcelona are in debt and broke, they were not expected to empower one of their major opponents, Atletico Madrid. Recall that Barcelona forced Luis Suarez out of Barca ahead of the 2020-2021 season.
After a lot of tears from the Uruguayan striker, he agreed to join Atletico Madrid. His arrival at the club energized the club to compete for the Spanish La Liga title and won it ahead of Real Madrid and Barca.
Hence, a reunion of Griezmann with Atletico is expected to be more problematic for a team like Barcelona that have lost their talisman, Lionel Messi to Paris Saint Germain this summer.
Atletico Madrid are mandated to give Griezmann a permanent contract when the one-season loan spell expires. This means that the 30-year-old French striker might not return to Barcelona again.
“FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid have reached an agreement for the loan of Antoine Griezmann for a season with the option of a further season”, a statement on the club’s website read. “The Madrid club will pay the player’s wages and there is a compulsory permanent transfer clause.
“FC Barcelona would like to thank Antoine Griezmann for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future.”
In place of Griezmann, Barcelona have signed 31-year-old Luuk de Jong on loan from Sevilla. He will join Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Sergio Aguero, 18-year-old Ansu Fati as attacking options for coach Ronald Koeman for the 2021-2022 season.
Just as Barcelona inserted an option-to-buy-clause in the loan deal Griezmann signed with Atletico, Barca are also expected to give De Jong a permanent deal at the end of this season.