Arsenal are considering a move to sign Barcelona attacker Antonio Griezmann in the January transfer window next year, according to Spanish publication Fichajes.
The France international is currently at Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal. However, if the player plays more than 30 minutes in at least 50% of their matches this season, then Atletico will have to buy him permanently for €40 million.
This special clause in his contract is a source of great insecurity for Griezmann, which is why he wants to change clubs before the FIFA World Cup in November. It remains to be seen if the Gunners will make a move for the Barcelona star this summer itself.
Griezmann, at 31, is slowly entering the final years of his playing career. He was on loan with Los Colchoneros last season as well, where he scored just three league goals and provided five assists in 26 games.
Manager Diego Simeone has handed Griezmann 29 minutes of action in each of his two league appearances this month. This goes to show that the La Liga giants are not willing to activate the buy-out clause in his contract next summer.
Barca would themselves be in a delicate position because of this. If Griezmann does not fulfill the conditions for Atletico to pay €40 million for him, they would be wise to take a call this summer itself.
This way, they can ensure that they get paid to sell the former Real Sociedad player rather than seeing him run down another year of his contract. His current deal at Camp Nou expires in 2024.
Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann could be a smart signing by Arsenal
Antoine Griezmann is immensely versatile and can play anywhere across the frontline with relative ease. This level of flexibility would accord a number of options to manager Mikel Arteta when selecting his lineup each week.
Arsenal saw Alexandre Lacazette leave for Olympique de Lyonnais this summer after losing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona in January. Arteta signed Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City to plug that hole, but signing another quality forward is something he would be wise not to say no to.
Speaking after Atletico’s La Liga win on their opening day of the season (August 15), manager Diego Simeone praised Griezmann’s versatility. The Frenchman played as an attacking midfielder and scored the last goal in Atletico’s 3-0 win at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Simeone said of the Barcelona loanee (h/t SportsMax):
“Last year he already played some games in that role. We see him as adaptable because he has vision of the game, technique, he allows us to play with a more offensive player elsewhere. I hope he continues with us, I appreciate him and I love him.”