Although a possible swap deal that could see Antoine Griezmann return to Atletico Madrid and Saul Niguez join Barcelona came close to being materialised last week, the two teams have yet to reach a deal.
Barcelona believe that a straight swap is particularly beneficial for Atletico and the Catalan club asked for more Atleti players to be included as makeweights, but Los Rojiblancos are not willing to do so.
Talks between the two parties were intense last summer too, when Atletico convinced Barcelona to release Luis Suarez by including some variables in the deal.
Saul and the Premier League
As MARCA have been reporting the last few months, Saul wants to depart Atletico this summer and he would be willing to join the Blaugrana. Meanwhile, the Spanish midfielder has attracted interest from several Premier League clubs, including Liverpool.
The Barcelona forward’s stance could be decisive in the talks between the two clubs, as the Frenchman has to leave the Blaugrana, who are in great need of balancing their books so they can register new signings ahead of next season.
Yet, the fact that he has several more years on his contract with Barcelona allows him to be in control of the situation in the event he wants to impose his will on the club.
Griezmann can put pressure on Barcelona to offload him to Atletico before they negotiate with other suitors, such as Premier League clubs or even Paris Saint-Germain, who could make a move for the France international.
If he chooses to do so, the 30-year-old forward could help Atletico strike a deal with Barcelona and find a world-class striker to complement Luis Suarez in attack.
The pay cut
Although there has been talk of a considerable drop in Griezmann wages in the event he returns to Atletico, some sources suggest that the salary cut will not be that significant and claim that Barcelona could even pay part of his contract, one which exceeds 20 million euros per season.
With more than a month to go until the summer transfer window draws to a close, Griezmann’s will to return to Atletico could be the determining factor in the talks between the two clubs.