Atletico Madrid are set to extend their loan deal for French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann in order to avoid paying €40m this summer.
Griezmann, 31, has returned to Atletico this season on loan from Barcelona, but as per a clause in their agreement Atletico can make the switch a permanent one for just €40m.
However, the Colchoneros do not want to exercise the option this season, and will instead seek to extend the loan deal for another year as reported by GOAL.
The forward left Atletico for Barcelona for a staggering €120m (£101m) in 2019, but will go down as another staggering big money purchase which has flopped in the Blaugrana’s colours, with Griezmann failing to live up to the expectations set on him after his move.
A resurgent Barcelona under Xavi means Griezmann will find it even harder to break back into the team next season, meaning Barcelona will likely be more than happy to get him off of their books as soon as they can. But Atletico want to extend his loan deal, allowing them to wait another year before being forced to pay the €40m fee.
In addition, in the 2022/23 season, this clause will only be mandatory if he plays more than 50% of the club’s games, meaning there will be a chance they will not even have to pay Barcelona for him even then.
At the end of the 2023 season, Griezmann will have one year left on his Barcelona contract, so the club will be forced into a sale then if they want to avoid losing him on free agency, but the problem is his value will depreciate further every day until then, leaving the club in a lurch.