Barcelona transfer news: Club deny Griezmann agreement, Rafinha deal apparently done, and more - 20th January 2018
Club denies agreement in official statement
Spanish news outlet, Sport, claimed that Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann have a secret pact for the Frenchman to join the Blaugrana in the summer. As per the report, Griezmann and Barcelona will have to pay a penalty in case either of them backs out, due to the deal agreed between the player and the club.
Further, Sport mentions that Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Atletico Madrid's Chief Executive Gil Marín share an excellent relationship and the Catalan club expect to pay a transfer fee lower than Griezmann's release clause of €100 million. However, the club now released an official statement condemning any such rumours and said:
"FC Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atlético Madrid player, Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club."
"FC Barcelona expresses its objections in the face of these events and reiterates its full respect for the institution of Atlético Madrid."
Thus, irrespective of whether any actual talks took place between the player and Barcelona, the club is definitely looking to maintain a good relation with Atletico for potential future transfers.
Sergi Roberto extends Barcelona stay until 2022
The versatile 25-year-old was linked with a move to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in recent weeks with contract talks coming to a standstill. However, the player kept reiterating his desire to stay at the Camp Nou and finally, he signed a new contract to delight the Barcelona fans.
The club released a statement on their official website stating:
"FC Barcelona and Sergi Roberto have reached an agreement on a contract renewal, which will keep the player at the Camp Nou through to 30 June 2022. His buyout clause has been set at 500m euros."
Thus, the club have ensured that another La Masia product does not slip away and given his €500 million release clause, it can be considered that the player will see out his contract and the majority of his playing career at Camp Nou.
While the club's statement mentioned that the date for the official signing will be announced in the coming days, Roberto's stay gives Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, a player who can play in the right-back as well as midfield roles.
Further, this follows the contract extension of Gerard Pique until 2022 with the same release clause, signalling a good phase for the club as they tie down key players while securing new signings to strengthen the squad.
Rafinha looks set for Camp Nou exit
The 24-year-old had a tough time with injuries in his Barcelona career so far and the arrival of the likes of Philippe Coutinho is set to dent his playing time further. Now, as per several reports in Italy and Spain, the Brazilian is set to join Inter Milan.
Gianluca Di Marzio in Italy, Sport, Marca and AS in Spain all claim a loan deal has been agreed between Barcelona and the Serie A side with an option to buy Rafinha for €35 million in the summer. The fee could rise to €38 million with variables and the player will sign a three-and-a-half year contract.
As per the reports, the player is set to arrive in Milan over the weekend with the transfer set to be completed in the upcoming week. AS further states that if Inter end up making the midfielder's stay permanent, then he is set to become the most expensive La Masia player to leave the Blaugrana.
Thus, Rafinha will join his brother Thiago Alcantara, who currently plies his trade at Bayern Munich, in leaving Barcelona for regular first-team football. Meanwhile, the Blaugrana end up receiving a good sum for a player who is now surplus to requirements.