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Reports: Barcelona plot player plus cash deal for €100 million-rated striker

Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
Rumors
19.52K   //    19 Feb 2018, 20:01 IST

Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona - La Liga
Will it be another panic buy for Valverde's side?

What's the rumour?

Barcelona has emerged as the latest and sole contenders in the running to land Atletico Madrid forward, Antoine Griezmann, as per the reports of the Express UK. It is rumoured that the Catalan giants will offer one among Ousmane Dembele, Andre Gomes or Deulofeu plus cash for the Frenchman. The Rojiblancos frontman has a contract with Atletico until 2022.

In case you didn't know...

The signing of Ousmane Dembele was considered to be a direct replacement for Neymar. However, it hasn't worked out for Barca as the Frenchman has missed a major part of the season due to injuries. The £120 million signing has been tipped to depart the La Liga leaders in the summer.

Barcelona v Levante - La Liga
Dembele's debut season has been cut short by injuries

The situation concerning Andre Gomes and Deulofeu is pretty similar. Both of them haven't been able to stake their claim to the first team. Gomes has failed to establish himself in the starting lineup in the limited opportunities he has received. The Portuguese has failed to adapt to the style of play in Catalonia and it appears as if he does not feature in the long-term plans of manager, Ernesto Valverde.

Deulofeu was re-signed in June 2017 after Barcelona activated the buy-back clause. He too hasn't worked out and his limited appearances have been off the bench.

The heart of the matter

Dembele has managed to make only 12 appearances for the Blaugrana accumulating only 241 minutes, registering only a single goal and an assist. With competition for places following the arrival of Phillipe Coutinho, the 20-year-old has gone further down the pecking order at Camp Nou.

Rumour probability/rating: 7/10

Gomes and Deulofeu are surplus to requirements at the Catalan club. Both of them could be used in a deal to force Atletico into selling their superstar. Griezmann has not yet publicly expressed his desire to leave Madrid. He has been with Diego Simeone's side for the last three and a half years and would potentially welcome a bigger challenge.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Rayo Vallecano de Madrid - Copa del Rey Round of 16
Griezmann has been one of Atletico's most successful purchases

The Frenchman has been touted as the replacement for 31 year old Luis Suarez, which will leave the Uruguayan relegated to the bench. The transfer speculation involving Suarez last month left Lionel Messi infuriated, as per the reports revealed by the Express UK.

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Author's take

Despite Ousmane Dembele's injury-hit first season, Barcelona may not be ready to give up on the former Rennes youth product just yet. The deal involving a direct swap for the Atletico superstar with Andre Gomes and/or Deulofeu could prove to be attractive as the Rojiblancos plan on revamping their squad for next season.

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Akshaj Sinha
ANALYST
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