Former FC Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has made a shock return to Atletico Madrid on deadline day. He completed a season-long loan move with a mandatory €40 million option to buy.
The Catalans left it very late in the transfer window to seal the deal in a bizarre turn of events that saw Dutch striker Luuk De Jong join FC Barcelona. Griezmann however, was earlier linked with a return to Atletico Madrid but the transfer did not materialise. But this time both the clubs reach an agreement and it turned out well for both parties.
The France international is returning to the Spanish capital from where he built his reputation. He will be eager to prove himself again as a very potent forward in world football.
After his departure, the Blaugrana released a statement revealing Atletico Madrid’s obligation to sign the World Cup winner with France in 2018.
“FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement for the loan of Antoine Griezmann for a season with the option of a further season,” the statement said.
“The Madrid club will pay the player’s wages and there is a compulsory permanent transfer clause.
“FC Barcelona would like to thank Antoine Griezmann for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future.”
It has been a tough summer transfer window for FC Barcelona and their fans. Firstly they saw their talisman, Lionel Messi leave the club after they failed to extend his contract following the La Liga guidelines. Now they have lost another star presence in the attack in form of Griezmann. His departure from Camp Nou was always on the cards given Barcelona’s financial distress. The Frenchman’s departure will free up the wage bill significantly helping the club find its feet financially.
Griezmann appeared in 105 games for FC Barcelona as he netted 35 goals. But despite the goals and assists, he was majorly a shadow of Messi in the attack. He will look to reignite his goalscoring prowess at Wanda Metropolitano under the tutelage of Diego Simeone.
Apart from the French forward, Barcelona also saw La Masia graduate Illaix Moriba join RB Leipzig. Whereas, Emerson Royal who joined the club this season, left Camp Nou to join Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur.