Antoine Griezmann returned to Atletico Madrid after two years with FC Barcelona.
The Frenchman’s move to Atletico was a big surprise for fans and experts alike. Griezmann looked set to stay with Barcelona, after an agitated summer that saw him linked to a Premier League switch. Griezmann’s salary was always a problem for Barcelona, as the Catalans tried to offload him to Chelsea, and then Juventus, without much luck. When things seemed to have calmed down, however, before Griezmann’s situation took a shocking U-turn. The world champion looked like he would remain an Atletico Madrid player before the transfer window for Western European clubs closed at midnight on Tuesday.
It turns out, that wasn’t the case at all.
Antoine 𝗚𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘇𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗻 🤙🏼 pic.twitter.com/j6XdY9sXZB
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) September 1, 2021
Griezmann left Barcelona on an initial one-year loan and Atletico Madrid has an obligation to buy his contract in 2022 for $48 million; three times less than what Barcelona paid ($144 million) in 2019 to sign the forward from the same club.
Griezmann isn’t the only player to leave Barcelona on deadline day. Emerson Royal, who had just been signed from Betis, moved to Tottenham for $30 million. Barca tried signing Atletico’s Joao Felix on loan, then made the same attempt with Manchester United’s Cavani, without any success. Instead, the Catalans went for Sevilla’s third-option striker, Luuk De Jong. Youngster Ilaix Moriba (18) also left Camp Nou; Barcelona sold him to RB Leipzig for $19 million.
Atletico made way inside their paybook by offloading Saul Niguez to Chelsea. The midfielder joined on a one-year loan, with Chelsea paying $6 million. The Champions League winners have the option to buy the Spanish international in 2022 for $47 million.
No way out for Mbappe
Real Madrid pushed the “all-in” button and was ready to pay $240 million for Kylian Mbappe, but PSG didn’t even bother answering the email. Real completed Eduardo Camavinga’s transfer instead, with French club Rennes receiving up to $47 million (bonuses included) for the 18-year-old midfielder.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) August 31, 2021
PSG couldn’t relax even after a stellar transfer window that saw the Paris giants sign Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and Achraf Hakimi. 19-year-old left-back Nuno Mendes was loaned in from Sporting Lisbon for $8.2 million. PSG has the opportunity to sign him on a definitive contract in 2022 for $47 million. Pablo Sarabia went the other way on loan.
In Germany, Bayern didn’t wait until deadline day to complete the transfer of Marcel Sabitzer from rivals RB Leipzig, paying them $19 million to release their captain. Former Bayern defender Jerome Boateng, who left Munich this summer after his contract ran out, signed for Lyon in Ligue 1.
English clubs alone splashed $1.52 billion during the summer transfer window, which lasted from July 1 through August 31.