Barcelona are considering a shock swap deal with striker Antoine Griezmann and Juventus’ Paulo Dybala as they battle to cut down their wage bill, reports claim.
The LaLiga giants are in the grips of a financial crisis and are struggling to clear a number of players off the books to ensure they can register signings and re-sign Lionel Messi to a new contract – and they are keen to offload Griezmann, who earns £300,000 per week at the Nou Camp, according to L’Equipe.
The Frenchman, who featured for Les Bleus at Euro 2020 this summer, is back in training with Barca, but his employers would ‘welcome’ his departure to help push through Messi’s new deal and they have now reached out to Juventus, it adds.
Barcelona have asked for a player to swap Griezmann with – and the individual in question could be Dybala, it says, the Argentine who has been linked away from Turin in recent months.
The 27-year-old – who has just 12 months remaining on his deal – had a mixed season in Serie A last term as the club surrendered their stranglehold over the Scudetto, scoring five times and laying on three assists.
Griezmann has also been tipped for a return to former club Atletico Madrid, with another swap deal being mentioned with midfielder Saul Niguez.
L’Equipe says Griezmann is ‘tempted’ to head back to Madrid and recapture his ‘glory days’, while the reigning LaLiga champions are also keen on a reunion – with boss Diego Simeone holding him in ‘high esteem’.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo refused to rule out a deal for Griezmann this summer, insisting ‘everything is possible’.
‘I have no idea, they haven’t told me anything, I don’t know anything. I do not know how the negotiations are, not even if there are, but there is little left for you to know what will happen.
‘In the world of football everything is possible but in the case of Griezmann I have no idea, nor have I asked’.
Griezmann has often been criticised during his spell in Barcelona, having failed to replicate his sparkling form from his Atletico days.
However, despite media scrutiny he still managed 20 goals in all competitions last season – taking his club total to 35 strikes across two campaigns since his £107m transfer in 2019.