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Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu Tried To Involve Antoine Griezmann In Swap Deal Prior To Bayern Munich Humbling

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu Tried To Involve Antoine Griezmann In Swap Deal Prior To Bayern Munich Humbling

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu attempted to initiate a swap deal that would have seen Antoine Griezmann head back to Atletico Madrid.

According to MARCA, mere days before the Blaugrana were annihilated 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final, Bartomeu proposed Griezmann for Joao Felix in a straight swap.

Griezmann had only joined Barcelona from Atleti a year ago in a £107 million move, while Felix was drafted in by the Madrid outfit as his replacement for a club-record £113 million and took on the Frenchman's No.7 shirt.

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Neither endured particularly impressive debut seasons in their new surroundings. It's said Bartomeu was hoping to offload Griezmann as a means to manage funds, with his wages considerably higher than Felix.

However, Atletico, despite being open to their record goalscorer returning, weren't keen on the proposal and knocked it back.

Griezmann, meanwhile, is poised to be one of the beneficiaries of Barca's managerial change from Quique Setien to Ronald Koeman.

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While the Dutchman has told a host of Barcelona players he does not see a future for them under his tutelage, Griezmann's first meeting with Koeman was incredibly encouraging.

According to L'Equipe, Griezmann looks set to be given a run in his preferred central role as well as receiving the No.7 shirt for the new campaign.

He took on the No.17 after moving to the Camp Nou but wasn't allowed to change to his favourite number - even with it becoming vacant after Philippe Coutinho was loaned out to Bayern Munich last year.

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Koeman has already expressed his desire to play Griezmann centrally and get the best out of him.

"With all my respect, Griezmann must play in his position," he told NOS.

"It is not an extreme. It is not. You have to play in your role. This is where the most important part of a coach comes in, knowing your players well and getting the most out of them."

Despite a difficult first season where he often had to make do with playing out wide, Griezmann did still score 15 goals in 48 appearances.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Josep Maria Bartomeu, João Félix

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.