La Liga 2017-11-21 5:44 AM

Atletico Madrid are reportedly already putting plans in place for Antoine Griezmann’s exit next summer, with Barcelona said to be keen on signing the forward.

Griezmann was linked with a possible exit throughout the summer window, though he eventually remained in the Spanish capital. But according to Sky Sports’ Spanish football columnist Guillem Balague, Atletico are resigned to the fact he’ll move on at the end of the season.

“Having said no to a huge offer from United after he had spoken to Jose Mourinho, he will now consider those possibilities,” Balague wrote. “PSG, meanwhile, will need to sell first, but they have also made some enquiries about his interest in joining them. Nothing has been signed at the moment with anybody, I’m told, but the club feel he will leave.”

 

It’s noted by Balague that aside from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, the Blaugrana are among the teams keen on signing Griezmann.

Things aren’t going particularly well for the forward at the moment, as he’s struggled to showcase the wonderful form that he’s had in recent seasons. Per Goal UK, he’s been toothless in front of goal:

 

Still, there will be a host of elite clubs happy to meet the €100 million (£89 million) release clause that’s currently in the player’s contract, as he’s proven himself in La Liga over many years.

Since arriving at Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2014, Griezmann has grown into one of the most dangerous forwards in Europe. He can dribble, he can burst past opponents and he can score so many different types of goals. Regardless of the club, he has the class to improve any attacking lineup.

Barcelona have two key forwards in Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, though both are over the age 30. Griezmann, now 26 years old, would be a tremendous addition if they could get him in.

Barcelona to Rekindle Inigo Martinez Interest

According to Marca (h/t Football Espana), Barcelona will make another attempt to sign Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez due to their current shortage of options at the back.

With Gerard Pique suspended and Javier Mascherano injured, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are poised to start Barca’s crunch clash with Valencia in La Liga on Sunday. It’s a situation that’s reportedly prompted the Blaugrana into considering a move for Martinez.

It’s suggested by Football Espana that Barcelona met the €32 million (£28 million) release clause in the centre-back’s contract earlier in the year, though eventually decided against pushing ahead with their interest.

As WhoScored.com noted ahead of the current La Liga season, Martinez has proven himself as an exceptional reader of the game:

 

Barcelona would undoubtedly benefit from another option at the back. Pique and Umtiti have struck up a wonderful partnership in defence this season, though there are doubts about Mascherano, who is past his best, and Vermaelen, who is injury prone, as backup.

Martinez fits the bill for Barca in terms of his cerebral defending and calm distribution. If manager Ernesto Valverde does hold genuine concerns about the depth at centre-back, the 26-year-old would be a smart acquisition to make in the mid-season window.

 

 

 

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