A recent report from FourFourTwo (via Marca) has Paris Saint-Germain monitoring Antoine Griezmann’s situation at FC Barcelona as the reigning French champions prepare for life without Kylian Mbappé should he hand in a transfer request at the end of the season.
PSG fans are hoping for a deep run in the UEFA Champions League this season to convince the 20-year-old to stay in Paris but sporting director Leonardo has to prepare for the worst.
That’s where Griezmann’s name comes into play. After joining the Catalan club from Atlético Madrid last summer, the France international has yet to fit in alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez. Clement Lenglet, who is Griezmann’s teammate at Barcelona and for France, stated that the forward is still adapting to Barca’s style of play and will need time.
“At Barcelona, we’re trying to recover the ball as high as possible on the pitch with a lot of efforts on 20 to 30-meter runs,” Lenglet said via Goal. “With Atletico, it was a bit different, they were falling back, and it was 50 to 60-meter runs. So you have to learn that, you need time.”
Barcelona is not really a club known for giving players a lot of time to settle in and with a transfer fee of €120 million, per Diario AS, they expect instant results.
It’s true that PSG will be desperate to spend the funds generated from the sale of Mbappé (to Real Madrid most likely) but I don’t see them targeting Griezmann for a couple of reasons.
First of all, there is serious bad blood between PSG and Barcelona. It all goes back to 2017 when Barca failed to sign Marco Verratti from PSG and then the capital club turned around and paid Neymar Jr.’s buyout to bring him to Paris. Last summer, Barcelona thought they could strong-arm PSG into selling Neymar back to them but PSG held firm in their demands, which Barcelona ultimately couldn’t meet.
Neither side wants to negotiate in good faith and both want to get one over on the other making any deal virtually impossible.
Griezmann primarily plays as a center-forward and one of the reasons he’s not fitting in at Barcelona is because he’s playing on the wing. Mauro Icardi is on the verge of signing a contract with PSG to officially complete his move from Inter Milan and the Argentine will want to play centrally, pushing Griezmann out wide if he were to join.
Then there’s the Neymar situation. It’s unlikely that PSG will be willing to depart with Mbappé and the Brazilian in the same summer but here is where a potential Griezmann to PSG deal could work. If Barcelona can come up with enough cash, plus Griezmann, and maybe even another player PSG wants, Leonardo may be willing to sell Neymar at that point and Griezmann would become a PSG player. Those types of deals are incredibly difficult to pull off though so don’t get your hopes up.
With an aging Messi and Suárez already thinking about life after Barcelona (via Mundo Deportivo), it makes you wonder if Neymar would even want to return to the Camp Nou considering the team he has around him in Paris.
I still believe Mbappé will stay in Paris but if he were to leave, there are players just as talented as Griezmann on teams that are much easier to negotiate with. Barcelona made their bed when they signed Griezmann under sketchy terms and now they have to lie in it. Paris Saint-Germain will not make the situation better unless the terms are overwhelmingly in their favor.
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