La Liga winners Barcelona are easily one of the strongest squads in Europe at the moment, but their early exit from Champions League will make Ernesto Valverde a bit nervous for next season.
Therefore, the manager is already planning for ways to improve the squad, with his team being linked with some of the finest stars in Europe this summer. And one name they are close to landing is Atletico Madrid talisman Antoine Griezmann.
A transfer target for the likes of United and PSG, the French international has been in superb form for the La Liga giants for over a couple of years now, but has been extensively linked with an exit, even before the start of the season.
He has registered 29 goals and 13 assists in all competitions this season, helping Los Rojiblancos to the Europa League title and a second-place finish in the domestic league.
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And it is now understood that Barcelona have agreed a long-term deal with the player, and are set to sign him before the start of next season.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi recently had some positive words to say about the Frenchman, and he ended his interview claiming that he would love Griezmann to join Barcelona. And reports from AS now claim that Messi and his words have smoothened the deal for Griezmann.
According to Spanish news outlet Sport, Griezmann will sign a five-year deal with Barcelona, which will see him earn a basic salary of €15m (£13m) net per season plus bonuses.
This will make him the second-highest paid player at Camp Nou, after Lionel Messi, which is incentive enough for Griezmann to quit Diego Simeone’s side.
The same report also states that while Barca are happy to wait till July 1st for Griezmann’s release clause of €100m to activate, they are also planning talks with Atleti to try and land him even before that date.