According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are set to announce the signing of Antoine Griezmann next week in what is set to be the first step in their bid to strengthen the attacking department. The Atletico Madrid star’s release clause dropped from €200 million to €120 million at the start of this month and Barcelona have taken this opportunity and are ready to unveil the player as early as next week.
The Catalans only need to prepare an official statement and present his career statistics, meaning July 11 is a likely date of his unveiling along with another newcomer in Neto, whose signing has already been made official at the end of last month.
It is probably fair to say that Griezmann’s addition to the club will serve as a massive blow for the club’s existing attackers and in this article, we will draw out as to what it could potentially mean for their future at the club.
Is Philippe Coutinho likely to leave the club?
Coutinho has struggled to adapt to the club’s soaring expectations after arriving from Liverpool for a big money move at the start of last year. And the Brazilian was often overlooked for the majority of last season by Ernesto Valverde, with the attacker scoring only five goals in over 2,000 minutes of league football.
Griezmann, though a centre forward, is likely to operate on the left-wing slot for Barcelona, with Luis Suarez being the frontline attacker, though that might change soon with the Uruguayan international nearing the final phase of his career.
But, the Griezmann’s preference on the left flank will definitely take a considerable toll on Coutinho’s game-time, meaning a move away from Barcelona will be a logical choice as he aims to revive his career next season. The ex-Liverpool star has been linked with a move to PSG, of late, although a return to Liverpool might make much more sense from a sporting perspective.
What’s next for Ousmane Dembele?
Ousmane Dembele could also become a victim of Barcelona’s recent exploits in the market, especially with the Catalans also eyeing a move for Neymar. The Brazilian’s potential return to the club, which coupled with Griezmann’s addition, would surely pave the way for Dembele to leave the club.
But in the meantime, staying in Barcelona would be logical, as Valverde could use Griezmann as a centre forward at times, which, in turn, will allow the Frenchman to operate on the left flank. Besides, an injury to either of Barcelona’s potential attacking trifecta of Suarez, Griezmann and Lionel Messi will serve as a massive boost to Dembele’s chances in the first-team next season.
At the age of 22, the ex-Dortmund star still has time on his side, and it would perhaps be wiser for him to try his luck at Barcelona for yet another season.
Malcom set to leave Barcelona
In the midst of all these high profile transfer rumours, Malcom looks set to leave Barcelona after struggling to make an impact in his debut campaign at Catalonia last season.
The former Bordeaux whizkid had minimal opportunities to make his breakthrough into the starting lineup, and that could be further blighted by the addition of Griezmann this summer. Hence, a move away from the club would make a world of sense for the Brazilian, who still has the talent to become a real asset for any top club in Europe.