Barcelona are continuing to work hard to lower the club’s wage bill and free up the financial wiggle-room needed to renew Lionel Messi’s contract according to Marca. They’ve managed to shift deadwood, but will now need to secure exits for higher-profile figures like Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
One of the possibilities for the former is a return to Atletico Madrid, the club he joined Barcelona from. Diego Simeone would welcome the forward back with open arms, and Barcelona first tried a swap deal for Portuguese forward Joao Felix only to be rebuffed. Despite the difficulties he’s faced early in his Atletico career, the club value him and see him as the future.
Soon after, Saul’s name was put on the table. Barcelona are looking for a midfielder of his profile, and the player himself looks to be close to leaving the Wanda Metropolitano after losing prominence last season. Joan Laporta is expected to try to probe this option to move on Griezmann having been rebuffed by Manchester City, who have other priorities in the market.
As well as their wage bill, Barcelona actually have too many options in the final third. Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero have both arrived on free transfers this summer, with Ansu Fati close to returning from injury. Should Messi stay, that leaves a plethora of attacking options. In this context, Saul does indeed seem to make better sense for Barcelona than Griezmann.