From the first day onwards, Barcelona fans were heavily sceptical about Antoine Griezmann’s potential move to the Catalan capital. Not only was the fee involved quite heavy – upwards of €120 million, but his tactical fit in the starting lineup seemed confusing, too.
Long story short, all the scepticism turned out to be right as Griezmann failed to find a suitable place in the team across two seasons.
While his second season, when Ronald Koeman was in charge, was far better, Barcelona and the player, alike, did not bother thinking twice when Atletico Madrid came back calling for him.
A two-year loan deal was struck, with the obligatory purchase clause of €40 million if the player ended up playing a particular number of games.
However, Diego Simeone’s men found a way out of paying €40 million, bringing the World Cup winner only from the 60th-minute onwards. Therefore, the two parties had to renegotiate the transfer fee in hopes of reaching a resolution.
Xavi, speaking during his pre-game press conference, already confirmed that Barcelona and Atleti had reached an agreement for the sale of Griezmann. Today, the same has been relayed by Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany, who has also revealed the new transfer fee.
“Deal has been completed this week, it’s done for €20/25 million, depending on bonuses”, he said, as relayed by Fabrizio Romano.
While the transfer fee is significantly less than what Barcelona were hoping for, offloading Griezmann was very important due to his high salary.
Alemany was visibly happy with the deal, and explained the reason, saying, “It’s a massive, extraordinary deal for us, because of Griezmann’s salary, the same for Coutinho.”
Griezman has looked much more at home at Atletico this season, scoring two goals and giving an assist in the league. A €20 million fee is easier to justify for the player, and he will be happy to get more minutes as well.