A Griezmann-Saul swap deal is becoming increasingly possible

A Griezmann-Saul swap deal is becoming increasingly possible

One of the uncomfortable truths of Barcelona persuading Lionel Messi to stay with the club was the fact that a number of first team players would need to leave the club to balance the books, and as a result a potential swap involving Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez is becoming increasingly possible.

Atletico Madrid have already completed the signing of Rodrigo de Paul this summer, bolstering their midfield ranks, and it has long been known behind the scenes that Saul could be sacrificed this summer.

It's easy to forget that in the midst of COVID-19, Los Colchoneros still have outstanding payments for the move to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano and Saul stood as one of their more valuable, but replaceable, assets.

This is, initially, what made the mooted swap-deal involving Griezmann so difficult to understand, as it would leave Atleti taking on a much higher salary and not receiving a transfer fee.

With that being said, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are working to find loopholes in the market and from both a fiscal and sporting perspective, losing Griezmann isn't a disaster for Los Cules.

They free up a player with a high salary and also they have replaced him in terms of forward players with the the free transfers of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay.

Rather cleverly, Joan Laporta has effectively killed two birds with one stone in making those deals, keeping Messi happy as Aguero is a very close personal friend, as well as fulfilling one of Ronald Koeman's express requests in the form of Memphis.

Barcelona initially tried the same operation involving Joao Felix, but it was knocked back, and at 26-years-old, Saul fits the profile of player that Barcelona wanted when they pursued Georginio Wijnaldum.

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