Barcelona Transfer news: Rival attacker to accept offer from Catalan giants, club president gives his verdict on transfer targets and more - April 6, 2019
Hello and welcome to the Barcelona transfer news and rumours of the day! Here are the top stories of the day surrounding the Blaugrana!
Antoine Griezmann will accept offer from Barcelona, according to reports
Griezmann was heavily linked with the Catalan giants last year but the attacker decided to stay and renewed his contract, which saw Atletico Madrid raise his salary and the player's buyout clause. His buyout clause is currently €200 million but the clause will fall to €120 million in July as agreed in the contract negotiations.
Jugones claims that Griezmann will accept the offer on the table from Barcelona and play for the Catalan giants next season.
Despite the transfer rumours popping up, Rojiblancos' president, Cerezo claimed a few days ago that the player is 1,000% staying with the club in the upcoming season.
Speaking to Spanish TV show El Rondo, Cerezo said: "I can confirm 1,000 per cent that he will remain a player of Atletico Madrid next season."
Antoine Griezmann rejected a move to Barcelona last summer which her revealed in a dramatic fashion through a documentary. Since then, the French forward has racked up 19 goals and nine assists in the current campaign.
But Diego Simeone's season has endured a tough few months since the new year, which saw them getting knocked out both the Champions League and Copa Del Rey. Atletico currently sit second in the La Liga table and are eight points behind leaders Barcelona. Both teams will meet in Nou Camp for the top of the table clash this weekend.
There is no doubt that the French forward has been an asset for Diego Simeone over the years. Griezmann played a major role in Atleti's success over the years and also played a pivotal role for France as they went on to lift the World Cup last year.
The player himself said that he is fed up with the constant links every year, and even the Barcelona hierarchy denied trying to sign the Atletico Madrid forward again.
The club’s director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, saying on Tuesday that: “We’ve been talking about Antoine Griezmann for two years. He was and still is an Atlético Madrid player. We respect other club’s players and are thinking about Barcelona.”
Also, Carles Rexach, an advisor to Barça president Josep Bartomeu, claimed that Griezmann already missed his chance to feature for the LaLiga champions last season.
"I would not sign Griezmann for Barça,” he told Spanish news agency EFE. “I cannot be more clear, he had his moment to come to Barcelona and in the end he chose to continue at Atlético de Madrid. The train passes once in your life and if you let it pass, it has passed.”
Although it is not unlikely that Griezmann accepts the offer from Barcelona, it is not confirmed that the Catalan giants will be open to make a move for the French forward who already rejected them once.
Josep Maria Bartomeu on transfer targets
Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that they have moved on from Griezmann's rejection last summer. The French World Cup winner revealed his decision last year in a documentary produced by Gerard Pique's company that he is extending his contract with Atletico Madrid.
Despite Blaugrana hierarchy reportedly playing down their interest to pursue Atletico Madrid forward, Griezmann is being constantly linked with the Catalan giants. Atletico Madrid has obviously endured a season below their expectations, as they were knocked out from the Champions League and Copa Del Rey prematurely.
There are sources which claim Griezmann may accept the offer to join the Blaugrana but Barcelona president Baromeu has claimed that it is better to move on.
In his latest interview with ESPN, Club president Bartomeu said:
"The documentary about his decision is water under the bridge. It was spoken about a lot at the time. We have to look at the present, not the past."
"Each player weighs up what's the best option for them. They make their own decisions. He stayed at Atletico, who are a big club in Europe, one of the best in UEFA's rankings and [the team] we're fighting against for La Liga this season."
Asked whether Barca fans could react angrily to Griezmann, Bartomeu said: "Barcelona fans are very democratic. The members are the owners of this club, and they are within their rights to have whatever opinion they want. There is freedom of expression at Camp Nou."
"There will be time to speak about him. Each year the club has an interest in making signings and this summer will be the same. De Ligt, like the other best players, is on the table." said Bartomeu.
"He is a great player and a great centre-back. I know what will happen with him but it's not the moment [to talk]."
The Blaugrana has been linked with a move for Ajax captain after they signed his teammate Frenkie De Jong, who is set to join the Blaugrana next season. De Ligt is the latest product of famed Ajax academy which is known for producing world class talents.
Even the Barcelona boss has claimed that they should ignore Griezmann and rather focus on their own players.
Loanee reflects on his time with Barcelona
Andre Gomes is currently featuring in the Premier League with Everton on loan from Barcelona. The Portuguese came under heavy criticism as he struggled to settle in the Nou Camp and reflected on his time with the Spanish giants.
There is no doubt that in Everton he faces less pressure than Barcelona due to the difference in their expectations. Gomes has settled well with Everton and has featured in over 20 games in the Premier League for them this campaign.
Gomes had endured a tough season with the Catalan giants, with many fans calling for his exit from the club.
"Obviously, I didn't want to say everything I said [during the interview with Panenka]" Gomes revealed to The Liverpool Echo as quoted by Marca.
"At that moment I was struggling a lot inside [mentally] and sometimes the people you are talking to [journalists in this case] help you to say what you want to say, and I think that was the case."
"I was struggling and I just said everything naturally. I believe that there are a lot of players who feel the same and sometimes feel like they can give [their all] but can't and don't have an explanation [as to why]."
"It was more about that. I was struggling and I couldn't find a way to go out and enjoy the game, enjoy the fans, and after that I started to understand things a little bit more and enjoy football more."
Gomes claimed that his time at Barcelona was a mixture of good and bad.
"Sometimes we don't figure out that the most important thing is to be happy and to enjoy [ourselves]. When we win a title or win a few important games we don't enjoy the moment."
"Especially after my time at Barcelona, [where] there were good things and really bad things, this year has been really good for me to understand that we have to enjoy [being a professional footballer] because we love football; it is our job, but we have to enjoy it more."