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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Griezmann returns to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona in season-long loan deal with €40m option to buy

The France international has sealed a surprise homecoming to the Wanda Metropolitano two years on from an acrimonious exit

Antoine Griezmann has made a shock return to Atletico Madrid after the Rojiblancos completed a season-long loan move for the Barcelona forward with a €40 million (£34m/$47m) option to buy.

The France international has sealed a surprise homecoming to the Wanda Metropolitano two years on from an acrimonious exit in one of the final twists to a dramatic summer transfer window.

The World Cup winner now heads back to the capital where he forged his reputation as one of the game’s strongest talents – and potentially frees up space for his parent club to complete some late business of their own.

Forward makes unlikely comeback

In a summer market that has already seen several of the game’s greatest players swap clubs, a reunion with La Liga’s reigning champions for old star Griezmann still felt like a distant pipe dream.

But now the 30-year-old – a Ballon d’Or nominee during his previous five-year spell with Diego Simeone’s side – is set to wear their distinctive red-and-white strip once more.

An exit from Barca is perhaps less than a surprise, given the Blaugrana’s noted financial issues off the field, a problem that has seen the club attempt to cut costs.

Likewise, Griezmann’s yield of 35 goals in 105 games for the club has seen him struggle to emerge from the shadow of Lionel Messi, though he did make a scoring start in last term’s Copa del Rey Final victory.

Now, he will hope to recapture his golden form with the Rojiblancos as they set about defending their crown this term.

More to follow…

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