Atlético CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín said “no” to this “impossible exchange.”
Journalist Carlos Carpio’s story states that embattled Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu approached Atlético just before the club’s 8-2 Champions League drubbing against Bayern Munich. Desperately trying to cut a wage bill which takes up 81 percent of his club’s operating income, Bartomeu sought to send Griezmann’s €18 million salary back to Madrid and replace it with the younger Félix’s €3.5 million.
Gil Marín is said to have categorically rejected the proposal, but he countered by offering to include transfer-listed Diego Costa and/or Thomas Lemar in a deal for Griezmann. Bartomeu declined that offer, and that is where the “talks” stopped.
Bartomeu has since declared Griezmann off-limits in the summer transfer window — and with Lionel Messi’s departure inching closer, new coach Ronald Koeman reportedly has promised his World Cup-winning forward a key role in the upcoming season.
Griezmann — one of Atlético’s all-time scoring leaders — wore out his welcome in Madrid last year, and his departure arguably brought more relief than resentment. The 29-year-old’s past behavior and present salary would have caused multiple problems for financially-strapped Atleti, while 20-year-old João Félix looks ready to explode when the 2020/21 season kicks off next month. The only acceptable answer here was “no.”
Would you have accepted an offer to swap João Félix for Antoine Griezmann?
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