Antoine Griezmann did not return in a blaze of glory to Atletico Madrid, but it does appear he will have another shot at doing so.
The French forward was a regular while fit during the past season, but 8 goals and 7 assists in his 39 appearances were less than might have been expected for a player that cost €120m just three seasons ago.
Yet Diego Simeone has remained bullish about Griezmann, as has Atleti CEO Enrique Cerezo. Now those words appear to have become action. Los Rojiblancos have officially asked Barcelona to extend his loan for a second season, as per Marca.
That news will be greeted gleefully in the offices at Camp Nou. Atletico will now have to purchase Griezmann for a fee €40m at the end of the loan, provided he plays 50% of the matches he was available for over the two seasons.
Although it is a risk to be investing in both the fee and the salary in a 31-year-old, if Simeone can inspire the best version of Griezmann then Atleti will receive a jump in quality. Taking into account the increased lifespan of players these days, it could be worth 3-4 years of important contributions.
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