Barcelona transfer news: Griezmann's conditions to shun Man United, officials meet German star and more - 24th November 2017
Antoine Griezmann set to prefer Barcelona over United
The Atletico Madrid superstar is a top target for Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and the English club tried to sign him in the summer. However, Atletico's transfer ban prevented new players from being a part of the team till January and Griezmann decided to stay put for the team's sake.
The Red Devils were expected to return for the player in the upcoming transfer windows but Barcelona look to have stolen a march on Manchester United. The Blaugrana wanted Griezmann as the replacement for Neymar but the player's decision stalled the move and they signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund instead. Now, Ernesto Valverde wants to sign the player in 2018 and the player is willing to shun United to join the Spanish side.
However, Griezmann has laid out a condition for him to do so, as per Spanish outlet Don Balon. The report states that the 26-year old wants a salary at par with Barcelona's star striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan is reportedly on a £340,000-a-week contract and Griezmann wants parity with him.
The report further states that the initial offer from the Catalan side is in the region of £250,000-a-week. However, there have been no direct talks reportedly so far with the only discussions taking place through intermediaries. Griezmann's quality is of no doubt but it remains to be seen how badly Barcelona want to sign him.
Barcelona officials meet Goretzka
Leon Goretzka is set to become one of the hottest free agents next year with his contract expiring in the summer. This implies the player can negotiate with foreign teams right from January for a pre-contract. The German international has been linked to several top European clubs such as Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City in recent months.
However, Barcelona are the one ahead of the rest in this race, as per Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. In fact, the club has already contacted the player, if the report is to be believed. As per Mundo Deportivo, two club officials met Goretzka during the recent international break over a possible deal.
In an even better news, the 22-year old has expressed his interest to join Barcelona over other clubs, as per the source. Barcelona general manager Pep Segura and his team have been in contact with Goretzka's agent, Jorg Neubauer, for a while now but this is the first reported contact with the player.
Goretzka is willing to wait until the summer for a move to Camp Nou instead of joining other suitors as per Mundo Deportivo but Barcelona would do well to pay a cut-price fee in January to eliminate any doubt.
Denis positive about Messi stay
The Argentine's contract is up in the summer and there is considerable worry among Barcelona hierarchy over his renewal. The 30-year old agreed to a new contract in summer but is yet to sign the deal. In case he fails to sign it before the end of the year, a foreign club can agree a pre-contract with him.
However, Barcelona's team-mate Denis Suarez is not worried about the situation and he explained why, as quoted by Express:
“With respect to [Messi's] contract renewal, I think he will be here for a long time yet. On Friday, he will be at training and on Sunday he will play against Valencia. There's calm because Barca is the club of Leo's life. We hope he stays here for a long time and that we can keep on enjoying him."
Denis went on to talk about Valencia being the biggest challengers for La Liga this season and said:
"The team to fear most is Valencia because they're our next opponent and because they're just four points behind us, but there's still a long way to go. We're not even in January yet. Anything can happen. Even if we win at Mestalla, La Liga won't be won."
Well, the team definitely looks to be relaxed about Messi's contract renewal with the entire focus on the match in the weekend.