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28th Aug 2020

Atlético Madrid rejected Antoine Griezmann return in proposed swap deal with Barcelona

Atlético Madrid reportedly rejected the chance to take Antoine Griezmann back in exchange for Portuguese forward Joao Felix

Reuben Pinder

No take-backs, Josep

Antoine Griezmann has not been a success at Barcelona. It was obvious from the outset that he didn’t fit into their team and it would be a vast waste of money to spend north of €100m on a player who has spent the last five years playing in a completely different system.

Alas, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu does not possess such critical thinking skills and signed him anyway, one of 29 players he’s brought in since 2015, most of whom have been complete flops.

Even former Barcelona coach Quique Setien, when questioned why he took so long to bring Griezmann on while chasing a game, said it was because he upsets the balance of the team.

It is now being reported by Spanish newspaper Marca that days before Barça’s humiliating defeat to Bayern Munich, Bartomeu tried to undo his mistake and offered Griezmann back to Atlético in exchange for Joao Felix, who they signed to replace the Frenchman.

Atlético chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin promptly rejected the proposal, still set on making a success of Felix at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The irony running through this entire fiasco is that Griezmann is much better suited to playing the Simeone way, while Felix has struggled to adapt to his style and would probably be better suited to the style that Barça try to play.

But such is the stubborn nature of elite football clubs, this swap deal would be a mutual admission of poor recruitment and will therefore never happen.