Antoine Griezmann is now the favourite to replace Paris Saint-Germain-bound Neymar at Barcelona, according to reports in Catalonia.
Manchester United looked set to sign the Frenchman this summer but, following Fifa’s decision to uphold Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban, he put pen-to-paper on a new contract — and has an £85million buy-out clause.
Sport insist that figure won’t put Barcelona off as they seek a world-class replacement for Neymar.
The Brazilian is closing in on a sensational £196m move to PSG — with a medical reported to be set for this week in Qatar.
Sign up to play Dream Team 2017/18 now
And, with the new season looming, Barcelona will have to act fast to bring in a replacement.
Atletico’s inability to bring in new players this summer saw a host of top stars show tremendous acts of loyalty by penning new deals.
But, should any of their buy-out clauses be met, the decision would be out of the club’s hands.
Griezmann admitted he felt obligated to stay with Rojiblancos after their ban was upheld — but would surely find a move to Barcelona difficult to resist.
From the Catalans’ perspective, the Frenchman would be the perfect signing as he has shown he can handle the pace of La Liga and is among the best players in the world.
Philippe Coutinho appeared a sure bet to arrive at the Nou Camp.
But, despite Mundo Deportivo’s claim that Liverpool want a world-record £89.5m bid as a minimum for the Brazilian, it is understood no second offer has been received at Anfield.
And Reds boss Jurgen Klopp defiantly insisted the 25-year-old would not be leaving Merseyside, saying: “If you say he is not available to be sold, where is the interpretation?
“The word ‘not’ means there is no interpretation. There is nothing new.”
Paulo Dybala and Ousmane Dembele are among Barcelona’s other targets.
Have you signed up to play fantasy football yet?
If the answer is no you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.
Because the Dream Team game – the UK’s biggest fantasy football game – is back and better than ever this season.
You’ve got a £50m budget to pick 11 players, with all the biggest new signings ready and raring to go ahead of a mouthwatering new Premier League campaign.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up to play now!