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Report: Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix Swap Talks Held by Barcelona, Atletico Madrid

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2021

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 29: Antoine Griezmann of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga Santader match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Camp Nou on August 29, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona reportedly continue to make a late push to acquire Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid before the summer transfer window closes Tuesday by offering Antoine Griezmann in a potential swap.

ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens reported the latest conversations could hinge on Diego Simeone, who's "keen" to work with Griezmann again after the forward left the club in 2019 to join Barca, but the Atletico manager does not want the reunion to come at the expense of Felix.

The Colchoneros have raised the prospect of reopening talks about a swap that would send Griezmann back to Estadio Metropolitano in exchange for midfielder Saul Niguez, which was discussed earlier in the window, but Barcelona would prefer a forward in return for the French international, per ESPN.

Griezmann, 30, tallied 13 goals and seven assists across 36 La Liga appearances for Barca last season. He arrived to Camp Nou in July 2019 on a €120 million transfer.

Felix, 21, has looked like a star in the making during stints with Benfica and Atletico over the past three years. He recorded seven goals and five assists in 31 La Liga matches last term.

Barcelona made an initial offer to take the Portuguese forward on loan for 2021-22 and, after that was declined, returned with the Griezmann swap proposal, according to ESPN.

With Simeone hesitant to give up Felix in the final hours before the transfer deadline, it's unclear whether the sides have any further alternatives, or whether Barca could add further assets to entice the swap.

In 2018, Griezmann told UEFA.com before his exit from Atletico that Simeone was the “best tactical and defensive coach in the world.”

"It's a joy to work with him. He identifies every player's weaknesses and tries to improve them, making you a more complete player," Griezmann said. "He has helped me grow both on a personal and professional level. He will always ask for the best of me and make me do my best, and I'll always be there to help him and help win the games."

He won the UEFA Super Cup and Europa League under Simeone during his prior stint with the club.

While it sounds like a return is possible before the transfer window closes, the clubs still have work to do if it's going to become reality.