On September 1st 2021, Atletico Madrid officially announced that they had signed back Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona on a two-year loan deal with a purchase obligation. Close to one year has elapsed since that day and it seems like Los Rojiblancos are regretting their decision.
According to journalist Sergio Fernandez, Barcelona are aware that Atletico Madrid will not be obligated to trigger the €40 million purchase clause if they keep playing him for less than 30 minutes per game. Los Colchoneros do not intend to pay that amount as it is not financially viable for them.
Griezmann’s transfer agreement states that Atletico Madrid will have to activate the mandatory purchase clause if the player features in 50% of their matches with a minimum of 45 minutes over the two seasons.
Last season, Diego Simeone used the Frenchman in over 80% of the games which now means that the clause is close to being activated. Yet, the loophole in the deal is that Atletico Madrid can keep utilising the player ensuring that he does not play more than three-quarters of an hour.
Though the Atleti management are willing to sell the player, Simeone has been firm that he will continue to count on the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner in his plans, saying:
“I hope he (Griezmann) stays with us because of how important he is. He is adaptable to other positions and allows us to be more offensive from midfield forward. He has vision of the game and work.”
Last season, the 31-year-old made 29 league appearances for Atletico. In that duration, he scored three goals and provided four assists.
Atletico Madrid will try to sign Arsenal, Liverpool target for free in the summer
Atletico Madrid saw a lot of movement during the January transfer window as they saw several players leave, while also bringing in a couple of new faces in.
But one player who they tried to sign and could not is Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram.
Indeed, according to AS, was on the top of director Andrea Berta’s list for the winter window as he is in the final six months of his contract. But, Gladbach asked for a fee of around €10-12 million to offload him, which prompted Atletico Madrid to move for Depay instead.
But the report states that Thuram continues to be on the agenda at the Civitas Metropolitano and Berta will try to sign him again in the summer transfer window.
However, there will be intense competition for the 25-year-old’s services given that he will be available for a free transfer at the end of the season.
Juventus and Inter Milan have shown an interest in Thuram, but there are a lot of clubs in England wishing to sign him up.
Indeed, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are all said to be gunning for the French forward’s signing while more clubs could join the list of his suitors as days progress.
So, it will be important for Atletico Madrid to achieve a top-four finish in La Liga and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for next season if they wish to attract a player of Thuram’s capability and calibre.
The 25-year-old has netted 13 goals and set up four more in 19 matches across all competitions. His ability to play anywhere across the frontline makes him an attractive prospect for interested parties such as Atletico.
But given the intense competition, Diego Simeone & co. will need to act swiftly if they wish to sign Thuram.