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Tottenham may have to act with added urgency if they are to secure Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann this summer. The Catalan side are in dire financial straits, and they have reportedly set an August deadline to get their ship in order ahead of the new season.
With the club in around £1billion worth of debt, the Barca hierarchy have pledged to comply with La Liga’s financial regulations in time for their first game of the season.
Ronald Koeman’s side are poised to line up against Real Sociedad on 15th August.
According to The Mirror, this is therefore the deadline for Spurs, or indeed any other interested party, to secure Griezmann’s services.
With Barca still paying far too much in wages to comply with Spanish rules, they are faced with the prospect of trimming the squad or facing drastic consequences.
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So far, they have not been able to formally register new signings such as Memphis Depay or Sergio Aguero, while their plans to unveil Lionel Messi’s new contract have also been put on hold.
Griezmann is one of the cash guzzlers standing in their way, pocketing a reported £800,000-a-week from his lucrative contract at the Camp Nou.
If they cannot clear the necessary space to make way for Messi and the new signings, those players will not be able to turn out until January.
Ultimately, this leaves Barca in an extremely precarious position, operating in the transfer market with a publicised deadline, no leverage and a desperate need to offload players.
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If other sides become aware of this, they could back the club into a corner as they approach the August deadline, forcing them to accept cut-price deals for their high earners.
When it comes to Griezmann, Spurs are believed to be keeping tabs on his situation from a distance, although his wages are understandably a stumbling block.
The fact that compromises would have to be made on either end is obvious, although the disparity between Spurs’ highest earner, Harry Kane, and Griezmann’s current pay packet is still gargantuan.
New boss Nuno Espirito Santo could be forced to swoop for a player of the Frenchman’s calibre, however, if reports on Kane’s transfer to Man City prove to be true.
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Griezmann would allegedly prefer to stay in Spain, where he has played his club football since he was 14-years-old.
That would render a move back to Atletico Madrid as the most likely option, while a swap deal involving Saul Niguez has also been discussed in recent weeks.
Still, circumstances at Spurs could change dramatically over the coming days which would make a move for Griezmann both more feasible and desirable.
If that becomes the case, they now seemingly have a timeline to work with in order to prise him away from Barcelona.
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