Barcelona are set to be plotting a narrative that would give Atletico Madrid a taste of their own medicine while dealing with Joao Felix, reports Luis Miguel Sanz while writing for SPORT.
It must be noted that at the start of the 2022-23 season, Atletico extended Antoine Griezmann’s loan tenure for one more season with a €40 million obligatory buy clause included in the deal.
The obligation to pay the mentioned fee, however, would have only been fulfilled if Griezmann had played 45 minutes or more in a certain number of matches and in order to avoid that Atleti kept using him from the bench.
In the end, Barcelona had no option but to settle for a €20 million fee for the Frenchman as they did not want Griezmann back at the club.
Barcelona plotting revenge
One year down the line Barcelona are now contemplating a retaliatory move involving Felix. The stage is set for everyone involved and this time both the Catalan club and the forward hold a strong bargaining position.
Felix finds himself temporarily associated with Barcelona, on loan, and without an option for permanent acquisition.
Now, both must strike a deal before the season ends and this is important because a return to Atletico is not a viable option for the Portuguese.
Atletico acknowledge that the value of Felix has significantly increased, and they are hinting at requesting €80 million from Barcelona.
However, this figure is unattainable, with perhaps only a Saudi Arabian club being able to entertain such an offer.
However, he has no inclination to move to Saudi Arabia and is solely focused on extending his stay at Barcelona. As a result, Atletico faces a challenging negotiation ahead or potentially an unforeseeable problem of substantial magnitude in the coming year.
So what’s the plan?
Barcelona are developing a new concept around the notion of a fresh loan arrangement featuring a purchase option set significantly below Atletico’s asking price.
However, Barcelona adamantly refuses to entertain the idea of paying the full amount, firmly believing they’ll eventually secure the deal for half the initial cost, leaving all parties content.
In the event that Felix’s performance continues, the Blaugrana’s strategic plan is akin to what they did with Griezmann in the past regarding Atletico Madrid. And it appears increasingly likely that the outcome will be one of two scenarios.
One, the aforementioned, and second, a player exchange benefiting Barcelona by shedding unwanted assets for the future. Right now, nothing is certain but many things can happen between now and June next year.
At the moment, it is certain that Barcelona will not make a move until the year’s end, maintaining the upper hand in negotiations.