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WHAT ANTOINE GRIEZMANN TRANSFER MEANS FOR PHILIPPE COUTINHO’S FUTURE AT BARCELONA

WHAT ANTOINE GRIEZMANN TRANSFER MEANS FOR PHILIPPE COUTINHO’S FUTURE AT BARCELONA

Griezmann is poised to complete a move to the Nou Camp from Atletico Madrid and it spells bad news for Coutinho’s

Philippe Coutinho’s time at Barcelona is up after they swooped to sign Antoine Griezmann.

The Brazilian will be axed by Ernesto Valverde as Barca bigwigs look to raise the funds to pay Griezmann his €120million (£104m) release clause.

Barcelona will pay for Griezmann when his buyout clause drops from the €200m (£173m) that it currently stands at.

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However, the hefty price tag means that Barca will have to sell assets in order to complete the deal – and Coutinho will be the one to be culled.

The situation is not a simple with Nou Camp chiefs hoping to secure as much of the £142m that they paid for Coutinho 18 months ago.

He has an asking price of at least £100m, with Chelsea said to be leading the chase for his signature as a replacement for Eden Hazard.

Manchester United have also previously been linked with a move, while a return to Liverpool has been touted by some club legends.

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Marca claim that Barcelona have to offload Coutinho to pay for Griezmann, so a deal could be forced through at a lower price if negotiations drag on.

Chelsea’s upcoming transfer ban could also play havoc with any deal, with the London club poised to be banned from signing players for two windows, although this is being appealed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport so might not kick in this summer.

Griezmann announced on social media on Tuesday that he was leaving Atletico Madrid after five years.

He posted a two-minute video message on Atletico’s Twitter account where he confirmed that the game against Levante at the weekend would be his last for the club.

“It’s been an incredible five years; Thank you very much for everything, I take you in the heart,” Griezmann said.

It is claimed that Griezmann held a meeting with manager Diego Simeone and chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin to communicate his decision and open the door for him to make the switch to Barcelona.

Mirror football

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