Barcelona think they could miss out on selling Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid, and are worried Diego Simeone's been told not to start the forward.
It's not exactly breaking news to point out Barcelona's continued financial predicament, after all they only have until the end of the transfer window to sell players or risk losing Jules Kounde for nothing.
The centre back cost the club £60 million earlier in the summer but they've so far not been able to register him for the league because of their wage cap.
Of course they've been trying all summer to sell Frenkie de Jong, and will be just as frustrated as Erik ten Hag that the move is yet to happen.
Looking ahead to the future, the Spanish giants will have been looking forward to banking €40 million next summer, when Griezmann's move to Atletico was converted from a loan to a permanent move, but there's one huge problem.
Atleti's obligation to buy only comes into effect if the 31-year-old plays 50% of the games he's available for during his time on loan, with the forward having to play 45 minutes or more for it to count as a game played.
As per Spanish outlet SPORT, last season that wasn't an issue, with the former Real Sociedad player getting at least 45 minutes in 81% of the games he was available for.
However, this season things have started in a less than ideal way for Xavi's team, with Griezmann playing just 28 minutes in each of Atleti's first two games.
The report claims that Barca are worried that Simeone has been instructed not to play the forward as much this season, and that's why he's yet to start.
Atleti's financial problems are not as well documented as Barca's but there's no doubt that things at the Wanda Metropolitano aren't great.
And the would be selling club feel that the decision to bench their on loan star is to avoid having to pay the €40 million at the end of the current campaign.
Certainly not starting him in their opening game didn't seem to hinder Simeone's team, as they ran out 3-0 winners over Getafe, with Joao Felix providing three assists and Alvaro Morata, previously linked with a move to Manchester United, looking good.
However, they lost at the weekend at home, with Villarreal scoring two late goals to go top of La Liga, with Griezmann coming on at 0-0.
That loss even saw one of their players trying to fight with a member of the crowd.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
- Antoine Griezmann's bench role nightmare could be over with 'Barcelona and Atletico Madrid set to agree deal'
- Antoine Griezmann's 60th minute substitutions could be coming to an end, agreement between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona close
- Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have finally reached an agreement for Antoine Griezmann, new clause inserted
- Barcelona prepare lawsuit against Atletico Madrid over Antoine Griezmann