Spanish heavyweights Barcelona find themselves in the middle of a financial crisis, meaning a summer firesale may be the only way to ease the pressure currently mounting on them.
According to reports in Spain, as cited by the Mail, the La Liga giants are currently unable to register any of their five new summer signings including former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Netherlands international Memphis Depay, with the only way to get those players onto the club’s books by selling some of those already at the Camp Nou.
And according to reports, Barcelona, who have exceeded La Liga’s strict salary cap ruling by more than 40 per cent, are prepared to offload France international Antoine Griezmann to free up some funding to get their new signings through the door once and for all.
It is claimed that Barcelona need to raise a whopping £171million to register their new additions and, more importantly, tie starman Lionel Messi down to a new contract.
As well as that, it is also reported that by offloading Griezmann it will help ease around £107million of that amount, plus whatever transfer fee Barcelona secure for the 30-year-old, who is currently valued at £54million by transfermarkt.
The France international is also, currently, the club’s top earner on £294,000 per week because Messi, technically, is no longer a Barcelona player, but he is destined to sign a new deal once the financial issues permit him to.
It is claimed that Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is happy to let go of Griezmann, insisting he would be confident with a front three of Messi, Aguero and Depay to deliver the goods.
Therefore, where could Griezmann go if he was to be sold by Barcelona in the coming weeks and months? At this moment in time, it is very hard to answer that question, but one destination that he won’t be going to is the Emirates Stadium.
That is because Arsenal, who are hoping to wrap up the signings of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares and Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga in the not too distant future, have already tried to sign Griezmann once in his career and their attempt ended in the Frenchman criticising the club.
Arsenal tried to sign Griezmann back in 2013 when he was on the books of Real Sociedad, but the deal collapsed late on, with the Gunners pulling the plug when it was their initial hope of getting it done.
Releasing his autobiography back in 2017, Griezmann opened up on the scenario and revealed why the club stalled on signing him.
“I waited, I waited, and I kept waiting,” Griezmann said in his autobiography.
“When there was no news, Eric [Olhats] (Griezmann’s former agent) called Gilles Grimandi, who said that the manager [Arsene Wenger] was still interested in me [and] to keep waiting.
“Finally a few hours before the market closed, he let us know Arsenal would not make a move. I don’t like to be told something and for it not to happen.
“So when Eric told me later that the London club were interested again I told him ‘Forget it, after the blow they gave us’.”
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
By signing up to our newsletter here, you’ll be kept up to date on the latest news and rumours as they break, all in one place. You’ll also receive exclusive insight and articles from club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak, all for free.
We also want to hear from you. Create an account here in just a few moments, so you can have your say on all things Arsenal, join the debate and take part in exclusive Q&As as well.
With Arsenal having left Griezmann angered after messing him around several years ago, it seems somewhat unlikely that he would consider a move to north London if the Gunners were to express an interest.
At this moment in time, it is highly unlikely that Arsenal would consider a move and have the financial capabilities to do so, even though no report has even indicated that the Gunners are interested in his services again.
However, it certainly seems as though Griezmann would have no interest in making the move if they were to signal their interest in trying to land him.