Atletico Madrid’s negotiations with Barcelona for a part-exchange involving Antoine Griezmann and Saul are rumbling on, but one thing that’s clear is that Atletico are in the stronger position according to Marca.
Los rojiblancos would be delighted to recruit a player of Griezmann’s level even if he’d have to win over the fans he abandoned in the summer of 2019, but it’s Barcelona who have to make the deal happen to create the financial space to renew Lionel Messi’s contract and respect La Liga’s salary cap.
The idea of including more players than just Saul in the deal has presented itself in recent days, with Mario Hermoso and Renan Lodi’s names floated as well as Joao Felix.
Atletico, however, have no intention of parting with anyone beyond Saul, and don’t have the pressure to make the deal happen that Barcelona do; they don’t have to bend.
The reason they’re including Saul in the operation in the first place is that the midfielder wants to leave the Wanda Metropolitano having fallen out of favour last season.
Atletico aren’t unhappy with him by any means and are in no rush to sell him; they’d only do so if a good offer arrived.
Trades and part-exchanges are notoriously difficult to execute because both clubs and both players need to agree terms for the deal to proceed; Saul also has interest in him from the Premier League, so he has options available to him.