Why Atlético Madrid's Antoine Griezmann Will Not Join Barcelona
Today, rumors circulated from French newspaper L'Èquipe that were soon corroborated by Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo which stated that Barcelona are set to reignite their pursuit of Atlético Madrid's World Cup-winning striker Antoine Griezmann.
La Liga leaders were close to acquiring Griezmann's services last summer, but he rejected them in favor of Atlético before the World Cup began, signing on for a new deal. In fact, he announced his decision to stay with a high-publicity documentary, to the chagrin of the Barcelona board and players.
However, the French press claim that Barcelona are set to offer him a €16 million a year net contract until 2024. This rumor is null and void: it's unrealistic, it's ridiculous, and it's not happening.
Barcelona have the highest wage bill in Europe. Griezmann earns €3.3 million per month, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi earn more. Offloading Malcom and Philippe Coutinho wouldn’t cut it. Barcelona would need to sell Suárez too.
Griezmann already burned the bridge with last summer’s documentary, in which he decided to reject Barcelona and remain at Atleti. If he does leave Atleti, it wouldn’t be for Barcelona.
Barcelona’s number one priority this summer will be Luka Jović (21) of Eintracht Frankfurt. If they fail to sign him, they’ll sign Maximiliano 'Maxi' Gómez (22) of Celta de Vigo. Both players would represent a lower transfer fee and a lower wage, and both are much younger.
Barcelona aren’t that desperate for short-term success that they’d spurn both targets and purchase a 28-year-old who earns the 3rd highest wages in Europe. They believe in the Can Barça project and want to prioritize long-term growth.
Juventus were desperate for Champions League success, so they signed the greatest Champions League scorer ever, Cristiano Ronaldo, despite his age and massive wages. Last summer's bet is proving to have paid off, with the Portuguese talisman leading Juventus past Atlético Madrid with a hat-trick this week. They'll need him to be at his best if they are to get past Ajax and reach the Champions League semifinals.
Juve are desperate for European glory, but Barcelona aren’t. And Griezmann simply isn’t the elusive X-factor that Messi and Ronaldo are.
In short, Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona is a bogus rumor and should be thrown out the window with all the other rubbish.