While many expected Antoine Griezmann’s romantic return to Atletico Madrid to signal a resurgence in his career, things have continued to take a downward spiral, since his exit out on loan from Barcelona.
For starters, it seems like Diego Simeone’s side are far from keen about forking out €40 million to sign the Frenchman.
With their agreement in place with the Catalan giants stating that they would be compelled to sign the 31-year-old if he plays 45 minutes or more in 50% of the games in which he is available, the club legend has only played a combined 82 minutes across the first three league games this term.
Things may well have been different for the versatile forward, who is believed to have been offered to former club, Real Sociedad this summer, as per a report by Mundo Deportivo.
It has also been claimed that Griezmann could have joined Sociedad for a fee lesser than €40 million, in a move that is said to have been achievable.
However, it is understood that the Europa League champion’s wages proved to be a roadblock in the switch coming to fruition.
The World Cup winner reportedly takes home €10 million per year, believed to be more than thrice the amount any player at the Reale Arena bags. It meant Imanol Alguacil’s side simply could not deem the coup affordable.
From a Barcelona standpoint, the club are said to be at ease with the situation surrounding Antoine Griezmann, despite Atletico Madrid’s attempts at finding a way not to pay the transfer fee for the out-of-favour attacker.
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.