Atletico Madrid have agreed a sensational deal to re-sign Antoine Griezmann on loan from Barcelona with an obligation to buy.
The France forward was a hugely popular figure during his time in the Spanish capital, scoring 133 times in 257 appearances. However, he joined Barcelona in a huge €120m deal in summer 2019.
The move to Barca, however, has not worked out as expected. Having struggled to recapture his best form, he has netted 35 goals in 105 games for the Catalonians.
But having been forced to cut ties with Lionel Messi earlier in the summer, Barcelona are now cutting ties with Griezmann too.
He was the subject of a potential swap deal involving Saul Niguez earlier this summer. However, with finances tight at the Nou Camp, they were forced to walk away.
Instead, Griezmann will now return to the Wanda Metropolitano on an initial loan. That will become a permanent €40m deal next summer. That deal will go through with Saul Niguez now agreeing to join Chelsea.
Griezmann will be warmly welcomed back at Atletico Madrid, where he thrived under Diego Simeone last time around.
That’s never worked out for him at Barca, with the player booed by his own fans following Sunday’s 2-1 win over Getafe.
Discussing the situation, manager Ronald Koeman was far from happy.
“As a manager, I can’t understand whistling our own player,” he said.
“You could whistle him if he had a bad attitude or didn’t work hard, but Antoine had other difficulties in the game.
“He wasn’t as fortunate as we could hope, but it’s just one game.
“I can ask him for four goals… but we have not created chances for him, either. In addition, in the second half we lost the ball a lot.”
Barcelona turn to Luuk de Jong
Barcelona, meanwhile, are confident of signing Luuk de Jong as Griezmann’s replacement.
The striker is being allowed to leave Sevilla, after two seasons in Andaluscia.
As per multiple reports in Spain, De Jong’s move to the Nou Camp has all been agreed.
The former Newcastle United loanee will sign a reported two-year deal with Koeman’s side.
He will compete for a place in attack alongside Memphis Depay, Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite and Sergio Aguero.