How Barcelona hope to sign both Neymar and Antoine Griezmann
Download the latest Transfer Talk podcast to hear Barcelona's plan to sign Antoine Griezmann and Neymar in full
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 09/07/19 7:41am
With Atletico Madrid's £113m deal to sign Joao Felix expected to have a big effect on the rest of the market, Spanish football expert Dermot Corrigan explains what it means for Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Felix became the fifth most expensive player of all time this week and was also handed Antoine Griezmann's No 7 shirt at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The big-money deal is set to have ramifications across Europe as Barcelona plan a blockbuster double deal for Neymar and Griezmann, Frank Lampard tries to sort out the Chelsea future of Alvaro Morata and Manchester United are linked to two Atleti stars.
- Listen to the latest episode of Transfer Talk: How much will Fernandes cost Man Utd?
Speaking on the latest edition of the Transfer Talk podcast, Corrigan answered some pressing questions around the futures of Neymar, Griezmann, Morata, Jan Oblak and others.
Now Felix is Atleti's No 7, is Griezmann to Barcelona a formality?
"This is a super interesting one and a real dilemma. Atletico are giving Felix the No 7 shirt as a bit of a message to Griezmann saying 'we've moved on and we don't want to see you again', basically.
"But he is still under contract and his release clause still needs to be paid.
"The talk in the Spanish media is that because Griezmann's release clause dropped from €200m to €120m on July 1, Atletico feel that Barcelona may legally be required to pay the higher amount because they feel they may have signed documents or negotiated with Griezmann before that date. We are not sure yet what the timings were.
"The feeling I got from Atletico is that they will play hardball with this. They are not happy with how Griezmann has conducted himself and will try and get as much money for him as possible.
"It seems unlikely they will go into a long-term limbo. The relationships between all parties is not good.
"The sporting vice president at Barcelona resigned this week, Bartomeu the president has taken over his duties, and he was personally involved in getting Griezmann."
Would Griezmann to Barcelona rule out a Neymar return?
"That is what I assumed. But talking to people around Barcelona, the club feel they can push the boat out and sign both of them and make a huge statement in rebuilding their team and forward line completely, including Messi behind them.
"It would involve a lot of wheeling and dealing to raise the funds to afford both of them. Maybe there is a way Barca can do a deal with PSG and not pay the entire fee up front.
"PSG seem like they want to move on from Neymar to focus on Kylian Mbappe.
"It seems outlandish that Barcelona would be able to spend all that money on two strikers in one transfer window but I am told that is what they want and are aiming to do."
How would they begin to afford both?
"It's generally acknowledged that Barcelona overspent on both [Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele] with all the money they recouped in the Neymar to PSG deal.
"If Barca could get even close to the money back that they spent for them, they could go for that.
"There is talk PSG could go for Coutinho, but his agent has played down that idea.
"In an ideal world they move those two guys out and bring Neymar and Griezmann in and balance the books that way."
Will Morata return to Chelsea under Lampard?
"It's a tough one, these kinds of deals involving Atletico are usually very complex. Even the deal to bring Morata from Chelsea to Atletico was complex.
"I think Atletico's favoured position would be to keep him on loan for a further 12 months. The problem is that Chelsea are short of strikers and can't sign anyone because of their ban.
"If Lampard wanted to bring him back he could do , if that were to happen, then Atletico would have to pay €55m in order to sign him permanently.
"They would prefer not to do that. Talks are going on between the two clubs, both are very keen negotiators. Atleti would prefer not to have to think about it this summer."
"[The transfer ban] makes Chelsea more likely to go back for Morata.
"It depends on what Lampard thinks and how he wants to set his team up and how many centre forwards he needs.
"Morata had some personal issues towards the end that did not help him settle down in London. He's still seen as a top striker in Spain."
What is the likelihood of Saul Niguez leaving Atleti for Man Utd?
"I think that is really, really unlikely. You can never say never but speaking to someone who is very close to him I was told nothing is happening.
"He's always involved in speculation and would be a superb signing for United. Whether Pogba goes or not he would be great signing. But I'm told there is no chance.
"Him and Koke are being seen as their two pillars of this new side. They are close to Simeone and know what the club is about."
Will Jan Oblak leave?
"He's not happy. What I have heard is that when he signed his new contract a few months ago he was told 'don't worry about it, some players will leave but we're going to get top players in'.
"Oblak sees himself as one of the world's top goalkeepers and wants to win leagues and Champions Leagues. Atletico have been just below that for most of his time in Spain.
"It can often be difficult for goalkeepers, a specialist position, to find new clubs.
"A lot might depend on David De Gea's situation at Manchester United. It looks like he is most likely to sign a new contract at Old Trafford and stay, which would mean that Oblak wouldn't be able to go there.
"Paris Saint-Germain is also a possibility but they also have been interested in Keylor Navas, who would be cheaper but may not be as good a player. It depends on PSG's finances too.
"Oblak is waiting for other things to fall into place. His release clause is €100m at it's hard to see Atletico letting him go for less than that."