Barcelona fear Atletico Madrid are ORDERING Diego Simeone to only use Antoine Griezmann as a substitute… leaving them to miss out on a £33.8m fee because he won’t trigger a transfer by starting 50% of their games
- Antoine Griezmann is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Barcelona
- Atletico must sign him permanently in 2023 if he plays 50% of their games
- Griezmann has been left on the bench in recent weeks by Diego Simeone
- Barcelona think Simeone has been told to only use Griezmann as a substitute
- They may be doing this to prevent themselves from having to sign him next year
Barcelona are concerned that Diego Simeone is being told by Atletico Madrid to use Antoine Griezmann sparingly so that the club do not have to buy him outright at the end of the season, according to reports.
Griezmann rejoined Atletico Madrid on an initial two-year loan deal last summer, with Atletico having an obligation to buy him in 2023 if certain conditions are met.
They will have to sign him next year if the Frenchman plays 50% of the matches that he is available for, but Barcelona fear that their Spanish counterparts may be limiting Griezmann’s game time to save themselves from paying a €40m (£33.8m) transfer fee, as reported by Sport.
Barcelona are worried that they could miss out on a transfer fee for Antoine Griezmann
The 108-cap international featured regularly under Simeone last term, making 37 appearances across all competitions.
He played at least 45 minutes in 30 of those matches, meaning he was on track to earn himself a permanent switch to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
However, he has started Atletico’s opening two LaLiga matches on the bench this season, with Simeone using him for less than half an hour on both occasions.
Griezmann came on as a substitute to score in his side’s opening day win against Getafe, but was still not handed a start the following week against Villarreal.
Griezmann has started Atletico’s opening two league games of the season on the bench
Barcelona think Diego Simeone may have been told to use Griezmann sparingly this season
Barcelona believe this could be a result of Atletico’s hierarchy telling Simeone not to play the 31-year-old too much as they do not want to sign him next summer due to the club’s difficult financial situation.
Atletico have spent cautiously in the transfer window this summer, bringing in Nahuel Molina and Samuel Lino from Udinese and Gil Vicente respectively.
They also had to wait to register Axel Witsel at the start of the summer after exceeding their salary limit.
It seems that the club may still be worried by their financial predicament, and this could explain why Griezmann has been left out of the starting XI in recent weeks.
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