In the aftermath of Barcelona’s Champions League loss to Liverpool on Tuesday, football pundits believe Coutinho’s days at Camp Nou are numbered and Atletico Madrid ace Antoine Griezmann appears the most suitable forward to play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
However, Atleti coach Diego Simeone insists his “dependable” forward is not for sale.
If Barcelona decide to sell the Coutinho, the Brazilian forward would save them about 25 million euros as per Marca. By contrast, his looming sale—which is certain to happen—would be a huge disappointment for most Barca fans from Brazil, particularly because of Neymar’s experience with the La Liga champions.
Speaking about the expected transfer, Ronaldo said: ‘It’s so sad that when Barca wins, everyone hails Lionel Messi but when they lose, it’s either Valverde or Coutinho.’
Griezmann rejected an offer from Barca during the last transfer window but La Blaugranas are hell-bent on signing the Frenchman.
Barca management is expected to increase their bait for Griezmann– especially after the humiliating 4-0 loss to Jurgen Klopp’s men. In addition, Barca board has been patient enough with Coutinho and Ousmane Demble, whose recurring fitness issues and disappointing performances indicate need for a proven goal threat to complement efforts from the hardworking team.
Although Griezmann ranks among the world’s most prolific forwards, his release clause will fall from 200 to 120 million euros on 1 July, 2019, an opportunity that Barca will most likely exploit to their advantage.
Yet, the transfer speculations were confirmed by a French newspaper Le Parisien, who wrote that Griezmann is relishing another chance to play for Barca, adding that the Frenchman is ready to take a pay-cut “if that’s what it’ll take” to actualize this dream.
Atleti coach Diego Simeone says the rumors don’t scare him because Griezmann has two more years on his contract.
‘Griezmann is our captain and everyone knows the implication…,’ Simeone said in an interview with Fox Sports’ “90 Minutes”.
‘I’m not worried at all. There are opportunities for growth at Atletico Madrid—if he wants to stay—but he owns his body and will take the final decision,’