Barcelona transfer news: Griezmann issues ultimatum, Coutinho's latest alternative and more - 30th November 2017
Antoine Griezmann issues ultimatum to Barcelona
The Atletico Madrid superstar is wanted by Barcelona and recent reports pointed to Barcelona marching ahead of the suitors' queue. On the other hand, Griezmann is looking for a move himself, having come close to joining Manchester United in the summer. Atletico's transfer ban was upheld till January and the Frenchman decided to stay put till 2018.
Barcelona are willing to sign the player next year and as per reports in Spain, the 26-year old's first-choice destination is Camp Nou. Now, Don Balon reports that Griezmann has given the Catalan club an ultimatum.
The former Real Sociedad man wants Barcelona to pay the release clause, as a proof of their interest in him. This news comes amidst recent reports of a cooling of interest from the Blaugrana, owing to a dip in form of the attacker. Griezmann has scored just six goals in sixteen appearances so far, leading to speculation on Barcelona shifting their attention to other targets.
The Spanish club need to close the deal swiftly if they desire to sign the player, else the 26-year old will not be short of suitors with the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain waiting in the wings.
Barcelona make Chelsea' Willian as Plan B
The Blaugrana's interest in Coutinho is now known across the footballing world. This is partly due to the club's relentless pursuit of the player, which was thwarted in a similar manner by Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG). On the other hand, several statements from the player's entourage which spoke about the player going on strike and refusing to play for the club brought the saga into more limelight.
The next chapter is set to unfold in January once the transfer window opens. However, whether Liverpool will sell the Brazilian in the middle of the season is a point to worry for the Catalan club. Further, Coutinho will be cup-tied for the Champions League knockout rounds as well. Nevertheless, Ernesto Valverde's side needs more quality in the team and the club is looking to make a top signing in January.
Hence, the club has lined up replacements for the Liverpool no.10, in case they fail to land the player in the upcoming transfer window. Arsenal's Mesut Ozil has been linked for quite some time now but there are rumours of the Barcelona players being divided on signing the German World Cup winner. Now, Goal reports that the Spanish club have picked Chelsea's Willian as a Plan B.
The Brazilian has been in and out of Antonio Conte's side this season but looks to have picked up form in recent weeks. Further, Barcelona are willing to shell out any amount of money to sign the wide player and it remains to be seen whether Conte will be willing to part with an important player in his squad.
Sergi Roberto's contract talks stall over wage demands
The La Masia graduate is one of the most versatile players in the Barcelona squad, having the ability to play as a right-back, winger and central midfielder. However, this has also proved to be his detriment as he is yet to nail down a spot in the side, despite being 25 years of age.
Recent reports as per Catalunya Radio state that Barcelona are keen on retaining the player and have met his agent this Monday. The club reportedly offered a new deal to keep the player till 2022. Further, the release clause of Roberto is set to become €400 million if he signs the new contract.
However, the player is unhappy with the wages being offered as per the report. Roberto feels his wages should reflect his status in the squad and the current deal does not reflect the same. While the player is determined to stay at his boyhood club, he will not be short of suitors with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea interested in his services.
Neither of the interested English clubs will baulk to pay the current release clause of £35.5 million, should Roberto be willing to move. On the other hand, Barcelona cannot afford to lose another academy graduate, especially a player who has already proved to be a valuable asset to the squad.