Barca president won't rule out Griezmann exit amid reported Atletico links

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta didn't rule out the possibility of parting with Antoine Griezmann this summer as the club looks to shed some financial weight in order to balance the books.

"Griezmann is a Barca player, he has a contract with the club until 2024 and unless circumstances change, we are counting on him," Laporta said during the unveiling of new signing Memphis Depay, according to ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

"There have been some movements on the market, and we can't deny that there's been interest in him. That's a sign of his quality. It's a special market and you have to use your imagination, perhaps thinking in swap deals, but we value Antoine a lot. The club made a big investment in him and we are happy with him.

"It's not easy for a club to come in with an offer for a player at his level. But the transfer window is just getting started and there's a market for Griezmann. If things start moving, we're open to all proposals because we're in a delicate moment financially and we have to balance the books to comply with the league's financial fair play rules."

Barcelona held negotiations with Atletico Madrid earlier this summer about Griezmann possibly returning to the Spanish capital in a swap deal for Saul Niguez, report Marsden and Llorens, who add that talks have cooled of late because the clubs can't agree about how much the players are worth.

Griezmann spent five years at Atletico Madrid, where he developed into one of the world's top forwards before joining their La Liga rivals in 2019 for €120 million.

The pandemic has drastically changed Barcelona's financial circumstances in the two years since his arrival. The Catalan side has over €1 billion worth of debt and has seen its La Liga spending limit almost cut in half.

Barcelona also have a strong desire to free up cash in order to sign Lionel Messi to a new contract. The two sides are reportedly discussing a five-year deal.

Barca president won't rule out Griezmann exit amid reported Atletico links
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