The negotiations between FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid regarding the transfer Antoine Griezmann are far from reaching their conclusion, with Barça now raising the possibility of a different player being included in a swap deal: Joao Félix. The club has asked about their chances of signing the Portuguese forward, as any swap deal involving Saul Ñíguez now seems difficult to carry out.
Atléti would like to include midfielder Saúl in a straight swap deal, without any money changing hands. However, given the fact that Griezmann's market value is much higher than that of Saúl, Barça is asking for an additional 15-20 million euros.
Atlético are not looking to spend any money and are instead insisting on a straight swap deal. Barça officials are not keen on this proposal, as they would be swapping a player of higher value for a player of lower value. In light of this, the Catalan club is now proposing a straight swap deal including young striker Joao Félix.
The market player of the Portuguese player is closer to that of Griezmann, making it, in theory, a much more straightforward transfer to conclude. However, Félix earns much more money than Saúl at Atlético, meaning Barcelona would not stand to reduce its wage bill by as much. The operation therefore requires greater consideration before negotiations can go any further.
Barça already have lots of attacking options
On a sporting level, it is difficult to see where Joao Félix would fit into Koeman's plans. He plays in the same position as Messi and Memphis Depay so he would need to play in a new position: elsewhere in the attacking band or in a more withdrawn role. The Dutch coach would need to find a new position for him in which he could flourish.
One thing that works in Barça's favour is its positive relationship with super agent, Jorge Mendes. The intervention of the Portuguese representative could help to build bridges and facilitate talks with the Madrid club.
This Thursday, Félix visited his Atléti team mates at the club's training ground as he recovers from ankle surgery.