Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has played down speculation linking former star Antoine Griezmann with a return to the club.
The Frenchman left Atleti for Barcelona in the summer of 2019 and has since endured a turbulent time at Camp Nou. Amid the Blaugrana’s financial turmoil, Griezmann has been linked with an exit as the club desperately seeks to raise funds.
A potential swap for Saul Niguez or Joao Felix has been spoken about, although 90min recently revealed that any possibility of such a deal had broken down.
And now, speaking to Marca ahead of a pre-season friendly, Cerezo has claimed there has been no negotiations between the two clubs and distanced Atletico from a move for the Frenchman.
“There are two important things, first that Griezmann is a Barcelona player at the moment,” stated Cerezo.
“Secondly, it was a misinterpretation that I said that Griezmann’s arrival was not going to be right. I did not mean to say that, quite the contrary: ‘We don’t know if Griezmann is going to continue at Barca and I can’t tell you if the millions of Atletico Madrid fans are going to like him to come back or not.’ The expression wasn’t that. I don’t want to say it was manipulated, but I didn’t want to say that.
“In all negotiations there is always a strategy, I do not know if there is any negotiation right now,” he went on to say. “Gil Marín (Atletico Madrid CEO) doesn’t know of any negotiations either, because he would have told me.”
Despite the seemingly false speculation of Griezmann’s possible return to Atletico, Barcelona president Joan Laporta insists there is still ‘a market’ for the forward. The La Liga giants are reportedly aware of interest for the World Cup winner, and Laporta admits that they will be open to all manner of offers due to their economic state.
“There have been some movements in the market and we can’t deny that there’s been interest in him. That’s a sign of his quality,” the Barca president said (via GOAL).
“It’s not easy for a club to come in with an offer for a player at his level. But the transfer window is just getting started and there’s a market for Griezmann,” he continued. “If things start moving, we’re open to all proposals because we’re in a delicate moment financially and we have to balance the books to comply with the league’s financial fair play rules.”
A recently proposed solution for Griezmann’s future was a move to Serie A and Juventus. 90min recently revealed that the Blaugrana made contact with the Juve over a potential swap deal which would see Paulo Dybala arrive and Griezmann depart.
However, another possible outcome, as reported by Sport, would be for Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit to pave the way for Griezmann’s arrival. The Portuguese superstar is another linked with Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG amid the speculation around Mbappe and, should he leave, Barca are hopeful that Juventus could take Griezmann on loan with an option to buy.