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Antoine Griezmann took a 40 per cent wage cut to rejoin Atletico Madrid from Barcelona

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06 Sep 2021
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Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann completed a surprise return to Atletico on deadline day, with Barca sanctioning his departure on an initial season-long loan deal.

Atletico did not pay any fee for Griezmann’s loan

Antoine Griezmann took a 40 per cent wage cut to rejoin Atletico Madrid from Barcelona. Griezmann completed a surprise return to Atletico on deadline day, with Barca sanctioning his departure on an initial season-long loan deal. The Frenchman was one of several first-team players to leave Camp Nou over the summer as the Blaugrana sought to reduce their overall salary costs, and he made a big sacrifice in order to make sure the move went ahead. Griezmann agreed to almost halve his weekly earnings to head back to Wanda Metropolitano, where he previously spent five years before joining Barca in 2019. Atletico did not pay any fee for the loan, but they can extend his temporary contract by one more year if Barca sign off on it next summer, at which point further payments would be required.

The Frenchman was regularly played out of position to accommodate Messi

The Rojiblancos will give the Blaugrana a maximum of €40 million, including add-ons to make a move permanent if Griezmann plays at least 50 per cent of their matches in the 2022-23 season. If the 30-year-old does not hit that mark, then Atletico won’t owe Barca anything, but such a scenario would likely only arise if he suffered a severe injury. Griezmann was revered as one of the top strikers in Europe upon his arrival at Camp Nou two years ago but struggled to settle at Barca under the weight of a €120 million price tag. The World Cup winner was regularly played out of position to accommodate Lionel Messi. In the summer, the latter also left the club before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer and only managed to score 35 goals in 102 appearances.

Griezmann is currently away on international duty with the French national team. Still, he will report back to Wanda Metropolitano after his country’s World Cup qualifying clash with Finland on Tuesday. The experienced forward could then be in line to make his second debut for Atletico on Sunday, with a trip to Espanyol on the cards for Diego Simeone’s side.

  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Atletico Madrid
  • FC Barcelona
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