Barcelona transfer news: Griezmann swap deal, Messi's Coutinho alternatives and more - 8th November 2017
Swap deal for Griezmann, blow for Manchester United
It has been in the mill for a while now on how Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann was the preferred player for Barcelona to replace Neymar in the summer. However, Diego Simeone's side were banned from playing new signings till January and Griezmann stayed put.
Now, Barcelona are looking to go back in for the player with a possible swap deal to appease the capital club, as per Don Balon. Simeone reportedly likes Sergi Roberto and the Catalan club are willing to include him in a deal for Griezmann.
This could come as a blow for Manchester United, for whom the Frenchman was the no.1 target in the summer and were looking to bid next year, as per ESPN. Further, Griezmann could prefer to stay in Spain, having been in the country since the age of 14, strengthening Barcelona's pursuit.
Lionel Messi gives three-man shortlist
Barcelona have been embroiled in a long-transfer saga with Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho since summer. While the chances of the Brazilian joining Messi and co. are increasing, the deal could prove to be pretty expensive for the Catalans.
Now, Diario Gol reports that Messi wants the club to pursue other targets in January and has given his preferred three names. The Argentine wants the Blaugrana to sign one among AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar, Lyon's Nabil Fekir and Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez.
All three players are creative goalscorers from wide positions and it makes sense for Barcelona to sign one of them in January while bidding for Coutinho again next summer.
Angel Di Maria's move was blocked in the summer
The Argentine was highly expected to leave PSG in the summer with the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, as the French club looked to recoup some of the spent money. He was rumoured to go back to Spain with Barcelona interested. Now, Radio Monte Carlo confirms the fact that a deal was indeed agreed for Di Maria.
However, UEFA reportedly blocked the move as they were in the process of checking whether PSG's big spending in the summer was in line with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. The incident occurred because the transfer window closed in France on 31st August whereas, in Spain, 1st September was the deadline day.
Hence, UEFA were investigating PSG's compliance with FFP on 1st September, when the deal for Di Maria was agreed. Therefore, Europe's governing body blocked the move till the investigation completes, leading to Barcelona missing out on the player. Thus, the Spanish club could return for the player as early as January.