Barcelona held talks with Atletico Madrid over a swap deal that involves Antoine Griezmann and their star player.
Journalist Toni Juanmarti made the shocking claim on the Siempre Positivo podcast that Atletico Madrid and Barcelona discussed a swap deal involving Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann on the day of the transfer deadline. The Spanish striker, though, turned down the offer.
Griezmann has a permanent buy clause, but Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are at odds about the requirements that must be met in order to activate the €40 million purchase obligation.
In order to sign the 31-year-old in the summer, Atletico reportedly offered a reduced fee of €20 million, which Barça promptly rejected. Atletico reportedly does not want to pay the full amount.
It appears, nevertheless, that the Rojiblancos’ efforts to evade making the payment of the fine did not end there. According to Toni Juanmarti, Atletico began discussions with Barcelona in order to arrange a swap of Griezmann and Morata.
Since the January transfer window, the latter has been linked to a move to Barça, with manager Xavi rumored to be a fan. At the time, Morata was on loan at Juventus, therefore a trade did not happen; instead, the Blaugrana finally acquired Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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However, rumors of a last-minute deal for Morata returned when it became evident that Barcelona would trade Aubameyang and possibly part ways with Memphis Depay during the summer.
When Gerard Romero revealed that the team was working on a surprise signing, there had been rumors that a deal for the 29-year-old was in the works.
Now, Juanmarti is claiming that Atletico and Barcelona did had discussions about the possibility of trading strikers. The negotiations reportedly came to an end after Morata reportedly declined to transfer to Spotify Camp Nou.
Aubameyang did depart from Barcelona, but Memphis remained and is now Robert Lewandowski’s understudy. Morata, who stayed at Atletico Madrid, has had a successful start to the season, scoring three goals in five La Liga contests.
Atletico Madrid has been playing Griezmann for fewer than 30 minutes every game this season in order to avoid triggering the permanent purchase clause. Regarding the Frenchman’s condition, a legal dispute between the two teams is imminent.