Football news - Barcelona to sacrifice Antoine Griezmann to afford Leo Messi contract - Paper Round
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann might be sold in order for the club to be able to afford Lionel Messi's wages, while Manchester United have not ruled out signing Harry Kane despite Edinson Cavani's contract extension. Diogo Dalot might join AC Milan on a permanent deal, while Martin Odegaard is keen to remain at Arsenal next season.
Antoine Griezmann of FC Barcelona warms up prior the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Granada CF at Camp Nou on April 29, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain.
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barcelona will take the drastic step of selling Antoine Griezmann this summer if the right offer comes in, as his wages increase every year of his contract. The 30-year-old French international is respected as a player, but if Lionel Messi does not leave then other cuts need to be made. Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Matheus Fernandes and Martin Braithwaite are also up for sale.
Paper Round’s view: At 30, Griezmann is probably at his peak now and will be able to offer less and less in each future season. Getting rid of him now would allow Barcelona to balance the books a little, but another advantage would be that the club could finally start to lower the age of the team after becoming one of the most superannuated line-ups across Europe.
'Revolution' at Barca will see 'untouchables' sold - Euro Papers
Cavani may not stop Kane move for United
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that Edinson Cavani’s contract extension at Old Trafford does not mean another forward won’t come in this summer. The Mirror reports the Norwegian as saying:
We're looking to strengthen the squad this summer. Of course there's many things you have to consider when putting a squad together. I'm not saying if Edi [Cavani] stays that means someone else in a forward position won't come in.
Paper Round’s view: Kane is an exceptional striker but he has played the best part of 500 games and at 27 he is not becoming less injury prone. Some clubs can handle those problems better than others, but it nevertheless represents a huge risk to bring in Kane for a club like United, who generally are awful with their spending, particularly on older players.
One player who is unlikely to be at Manchester United next season is their defender Diogo Dalot. The 22-year-old has impressed on loan at AC Milan this year and he could be sold for around 10 to 15 million euros. One option might be for the Portuguese defender to return to Italy on loan for one more year, the Sun reports, before joining on a permanent deal later.
Paper Round’s view: Dalot was a reasonable player for United but he offered little throughout his time under Jose Mourinho and then Solskjaer. If he has found his rhythm at Milan then, given the relatively low quality in Italy, then he should try to get more time on the pitch there and try a more demanding league when he has had time to improve his performance level.
The Daily Mail reports that Real Madrid’s on-loan Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard would be content to stay in London next season. The 22-year-old midfielder admitted that much of the decision rests with his parent club, saying:
I am happy here at Arsenal, we will see after the season what will happen. I'm owned by Real Madrid, so we have to speak to them. It's important to understand what they want.
Paper Round’s view: Odegaard struggled at Real Madrid and he might not be keen to go back to a club that is in a state of upheaval, with no obvious sign of who will replace Zinedine Zidane. However, Arsenal are hardly stable right now and the Danish player might see a chance to return to Spain and impress whomever might come in for next season.