August 2, 2021

Griezmann-Saúl: an impossible barter – La Provincia


Griezmann and Messi, during a Barcelona match.

Griezmann and Messi, during a Barcelona match.
REUTERS

The easiest formula for the exchange of goods such as barter is complicated, sometimes enormously, in football. A future and hypothetical agreement between Barça and Atlético to exchange Antoine Griezmann by Saúl Ñíguez It will not be reduced to a simple swap. The operation, which seemed to take shape, slows down due to the many variables that concur so that all parties end up in agreement: there are neither two (the clubs) nor four (the two players), but the inclusion of more footballers and players is explored. , of course, money.

The simple exchange, this exchange, will require an architecture that cannot be built in a few hours or, surely, days. Atlético and Barça only share the attraction for a footballer they like but the differences, from there, separate them. They are also similar in that they are both left-handed. Nothing more. Saúl has been training with Atlético for days, his international status with Spain interrupted, and Griezmann joins Barça this week after participating in the European Championship with France.

Griezmann is 30 years old, plays as a forward, is a starter, it cost 120 million (plus 15 penalty later added by the seller, Atlético, to make matters worse), he scores goals (15 and 20 in the two Barça campaigns) and collects about 40 million gross annually, according to some sources.

Saúl will be 27 years old in November, he is a midfielder, he is usually a starter, he is a rojiblanco youth squad (his cost is considered zero), he scores few goals (7 and 2) and his token scratches 10 million annually. It goes without saying that the two footballers look favorably on the change that is being proposed to them: Griezmann will return to what was his club, and where he felt fully, and Saúl smiles at a change of scenery that can boost his career.

Market value

The drawbacks arise from the different market valuation. Barça needs to get rid of Griezmann’s file – it could be that it was not the second most expensive of the squad, but the third one – unless the French international lowers it more than half, following the path of Messi.

Joan Laporta does not admit the pure exchange of footballers without major consideration. The president does not want to sign a transfer with Enrique Cerezo like the one they signed Sandro Rosell (David Villa) and Josep Maria Bartomeu (Luis Suárez) and give away a striker to Atlético who wins the League the following season. The circumstances that surrounded the signing of Griezmann with Atlético’s demand for the termination clause (120 million) and the subsequent threat of denouncing Barça for negotiating with the player before the legal limit hurt the sensitivity of the current leaders no matter how much. intervened two years ago. Bartomeu paid 15 million more disguised as preferential rights on players.

Barça needs

This Barça needed money and forced to lower the wage bill, but the new tenants of the Camp Nou offices reject the exchange and that there is no other benefit than saving Griezmann’s file. Nor is it contemplated, at all, that part of his salary be paid for him to return to the Metropolitan. In addition to Saúl, a reward materialized in footballers or tickets should be added. In various forums, the names of the central Mario Hermoso and the left-back Renan Lodi have come up, associable with Barça’s desire to get rid of Samuel Umtiti and look for a replacement for Jordi Alba.

Barça is no stranger to this way of trading; in fact, in recent years, he is getting used to working with the exchange formula due to the lack of money and the need to make up his accounts. The barter experience has not been very satisfactory, considering the exchange of two footballers with the same club as a barter. Laporta returns to her, as in his first stage as president.

Swaps and exchanges

The signing of Deco in 2004 by Barça that included Quaresma’s pass to Porto was not exactly barters, since 15 million were paid and the end was valued at 6 million. Neither would the transfer Barça-Inter for which Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended up at the Camp Nou. The operation reached an amount of 66 million, of which 43 were paid to tocateja; the remaining 23 million were the value of Samuel Etoo (20) and the loan of Aleksandr Hleb, which was not consummated. The Belarusian preferred to go to Stuttgart.

The following exchanges were signed by Bartomeu. They were accounting exchanges more than sportingly interesting transactions. Two years ago, he exchanged Jasper Cillessen for Neto with Valencia. Despite the higher value of the Dutch goal, Barça transferred him for 26 million plus 9 in variables and acquired the Brazilian for the same amount. Last summer the maneuvering was practiced with Juventus, although it was not such a fair trade-in. Another Brazilian Arthur Melo (23 years old) was sold for 72 million plus 10 in variables, and at the same time Barça was spending 60 plus 5 for Miralem Pjanic (30).

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