Barcelona's short-term future is in the hands of Antoine Griezmann

OPINION

The time has come for Barça to make drastic and painful decisions, as the club's economic outlook is much worse than Laporta and his board could ever have imagined. The challenge ahead is immense, with the club struggling to make space in their wage bill to tie Leo Messi down to a new deal. At the moment, the outlook is frightening. Despite this, the club's sporting directors are convinced that they will manage to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place to secure a happy ending to this story. What they all agree on is that the future of the club is in the hands of Antoine Griezmann, and also Philippe Coutinho. The club needs to find a way of getting these two players off their wage bill, as the value of their combined salaries would be enough for them to balance the books. While other wage cuts - which are currently being negotiated - and minor departures all add up, the key lies in finding a suitor for Griezmann, even if the club ends up losing money on the player. It's curious that Griezmann once more finds himself with the upper hand in negotiations, which will surely see him hand-pick his next club.

As a player, Koeman has nothing against the French international. As a professional, he has conducted himself impeccably since his arrival at Camp Nou, although his performances have been slightly under par. The club is only looking to sell the player for economic reasons. It remains to be seen if a departure can be agreed, with Atlético de Madrid or a team from the Premier League being the most likely suitors. Griezmann acknowledges that he made a mistake by not signing for Barça when they first came in for him, and that his decision to join the club one year down the line was also a bad one. Griezmann would be a dressing room leader for Diego Simeone's side, with the Wanda Metropolitano being the player's preferred destination. Barcelona don't want to strengthen a direct rival, but beggars can't be choosers. It looks like many things will happen in the second half of July.

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