Transfer rumours: Barcelona to pay EUR 126m for Antoine Griezmann

We round up the front and back pages across Europe as Saturday sees the transfer rumour mill crank into gear again.

Antoine Griezmann in action for Atletico Madrid.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona has started talks to sign Antoine Griezmann and landing the Atletico Madrid star looks set to be easier than bringing in Neymar.

Griezmann announced last month he would be leaving Atletico, with La Liga champion Barcelona long expected to be his next destination. Barca has reportedly taken steps to make it happen, while its bid to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou from Paris Saint-Germain is shaping as more difficult.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, ATLETICO BEGIN GRIEZMANN TALKS

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have started negotiations regarding Griezmann, according to Sport and L'Equipe.

Sport reports Barca will agree to pay EUR 126 million for Griezmann, slightly above the forward's release clause of EUR 120m, which will come into effect next month, and the same amount Atletico is set to sign Joao Felix for from Benfica.

Read | Guardiola: Barcelona targets Neymar and Griezmann are 'very good'

Like Atletico wants to do with Joao Felix, Barcelona would pay the fee in instalments, opening up its potential move for Neymar.

While PSG initially set a EUR 300m asking price for Neymar, Le Parisien reports the Ligue 1 champion would accept EUR 222m — the same amount it paid Barca to sign the Brazil star two years ago.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid is no longer as interested in signing Neymar, according to Goal, which reports the La Liga giant is considering several factors, including a possible move for another PSG star, Kylian Mbappe, in the future.

- Zinedine Zidane is well and truly rebuilding Madrid and it is reportedly next eyeing a midfielder. While it wants Paul Pogba, Christian Eriksen is also a target, with Danish newspaper Fyens reporting the Tottenham midfielder's family has been in Madrid looking for a house. Sport says Ajax's Donny van de Beek is plan D for Madrid, behind Pogba, Eriksen and Lyon's Tanguy Ndombele.

- Inter is still looking to strengthen and is eyeing Gareth Bale. Sport Mediaset reports the Serie A giant met with the Real Madrid forward's agency to discuss a possible loan deal. Staying at San Siro, The Sun says Inter is set to sell Joao Mario and Dalbert to raise funds for a move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, who is apparently valued at GBP 75m.

Read | Neymar wants Barcelona return, says club's vice-president

- AC Milan has set its price for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. According to CalcioMercato, Milan want EUR 50m up front for the shot-stopper, who is linked with PSG and Manchester United. PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola would not be involved in a move, according to L'Equipe and Eurosport.

- Manchester United wants Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Sport says. The report claims the Premier League giant contacted Barca about the Croatia midfielder once more, having also initially been interested in defender Samuel Umtiti. United has finally completed the signing of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to Sky Sports and the BBC.

- Juventus apparently wants to extend Gonzalo Higuain's contract. Yes, you read that right. But, CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champion is aiming to extend his deal — which runs until 2021 — by a year for Financial Fair Play reasons. However, Repubblica reports Juve could sell the forward to Roma.

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