In one of the most surprising transfers on deadline day, France striker Antoine Griezmann has returned to Atletico Madrid from fellow Spanish La Liga outfit Barcelona on loan. The France national team player is back at Atletico Madrid after spending two years at Barcelona.
As revealed by the official statement from Barcelona, France striker Griezmann has signed for Atletico Madrid on loan for one year with the option of another year on loan. Atletico Madrid are obligated to pay a fee to sign him permanently at the end of the loan spell.
Griezmann was initially linked with a return to Atletico Madrid in a swap deal with Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez this summer but an agreement could not be reached. Saul has since left for Chelsea on loan. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were rumoured to be in negotiations for the transfer of Griezmann once again with Joao Felix linked with a move to the Nou Camp in a swap deal. In the end, Griezmann moved back to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona without any player moving in the other direction.
Barcelona are in a financial crisis and the transfer of Griezmann was inevitable after fringe players such as Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic and France defender Samuel Umtiti failed to leave the club. Pjanic and Umtiti were both on the transfer list at Barcelona this summer.
Griezmann was the second highest earner at Barcelona after the great Lionel Messi and the expectation had been that the Frenchman will stay after Messi left for Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Griezmann joined Atletico Madrid on loan on deadline day and the reigning Spanish La Liga champions would be responsible for his salary
France international Griezmann has spent the whole of his professional career in Spain. The French World Cup winner started his career at Real Sociedad and he became one of the most feared attackers on the world football scene after signing for Atletico Madrid in 2014. He had an attacking return of 130 goals plus 54 assists in 254 games over five seasons at Atletico Madrid before he joined Barcelona in a €120m deal.