Antoine Griezmann Barcelona record transfer could have a domino effect. Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters
Antoine Griezmann Barcelona record transfer could have a domino effect. Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Griezmann's Barca move one of the biggest in summer, more to follow

Time of article published Jul 13, 2019

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BERLIN/BARCELONA  Barcelona's capture of Antoine Griezmann is one the biggest transfer so far in the summer window, and more is likely to come in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.

Brazil's Neymar has been linked with a return to the Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt could be heading to Juventus, Bayern Munich are keen to get Germany winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City, and Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United is also uncertain.

"One domino has to fall. Football Europe is waiting for this. Once that has happened many transfers will follow," Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said earlier in the week.

Apart from Sane, Bayern are allegedly also interested in Ousmane Dembele who Barca could sell because they also need substantial income in order not to violate Financial Fair Play rules. Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic are others who may be leaving.

Griezmann on Fiday became Barca's fourth big signing, following Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, goalkeeper Neto from Valencia and defender Emerson from Brazil's Atletico-MG.

The Catalans have already spent more than 230 million euros (259 million dollars), and getting Neymar back would also require a massive fee after they sold him to PSG for a world record 222 million euros two years ago.

The Spanish champions paid Griezmann's 120 million euro release clause to sign the French World Cup winning striker.

"Griezmann, signed at last," ran Mundo Deportivo's front page on Saturday.

"Signed, now, yes!" read Diario Sport's, referring to Griezmann's rejection of Barcelona last summer when he signed a new contract with Atletico instead of moving to the Camp Nou.

AS's front page ran "Signed, but.", explaining that Atletico want 80 million more for Griezmann and will report Barcelona to FIFA and take legal action to get the money.

Atletico published a statement on Friday saying Barcelona need to pay 200 million euros for the forward because they reached a deal with him before his release clause dropped to 120 million on July 1.

Barcelona-based newspaper Diario Sport's director Ernest Folch hit out against Atletico's behaviour.

"The border between contact, conversation and negotiation lacks clarity and all teams use that ambiguity, including Atletico," wrote Folch.

"Denouncing another team for something you do yourself is, at minimum, ridiculous.

"But Atletico's posture apart from being hypocritical is also impossible to prove, if they have no document that shows that."

Atletico have meanwhile also sold defender Lucas Hernandez for 80 million euros to Munich, Rodri to Manchester City for some 70 million euros to Manchester City, while spending 126 million euros to get Benfica's teenaged forward Felix.

Not to be outdone, Real Madrid have signed Belgium star Eden Hazard from Chelsea for some 100 million euros plus add-ons, spent more than 60 million euros on Eintracht Frankfurt's Serbia forward Luka Jovic, and a similar amount in Lyon's Ferland Mendy, among others.

Rummenigge said that sums in the region of 100 million euros are quite normal these days, and further big deals are also expected to be made by the rich English Premier League clubs.

Rodri is the biggest signing so far, with United spending around 56 million euros on Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Champions League finalists Tottenham more than 60 million euros to get Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon.


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