Mercato – Griezmann, Ronaldo, Icardi: Seven balls of a closed transfer window in a double turn

This is commonly referred to as an alignment of planets. First, staff where each position is doubled or even tripled. Then, a concentration of stars and big salaries in a few huge clubs with disproportionate means. And, finally, a post-Covid economy that can no longer support such a lifestyle.

This summer, perhaps more than the others even if it has been a fundamental movement for several years, the big clubs want to get rid of their big salaries. It remains to find an arrangement. And this summer, more than the others, the affair promises to be delicate. Focus on nine concrete cases.

Antoine Griezmann: World champion who has become an adjustment variable


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The transplant never took. Arrived in 2019, Antoine Griezmann has never been up to the investment made by Barça (120 million euros). The arrivals of Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero combined with the return from injury of Ansu Fati have already weakened his place in attack and it is not his failed Euro that will plead his case in Catalonia. Barça now wants to use him to relieve his finances and complete the extension of Lionel Messi. The world champion is no longer seen as a vulgar adjustment variable of a club that has spent too much without counting.

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Ronald Koeman, his coach, said nothing else: « Griezmann is very important, said the Dutch technician last week. He was an excellent recruit for Barça and he showed his quality. He is a very good player. But I insist, I don’t know what decisions will be made in the end, because the most important thing is that Leo stays with us.  » If Atlético Madrid could be of service to everyone by repatriating him, but his gigantic salary (26 million euros per year) remains a major obstacle to the transaction.

Cristiano Ronaldo: The end of the story?

The ambitious Ronaldo operation, which began in 2018, has not borne fruit. Not only have Juventus never passed the quarter-finals of the Champions League since the arrival of the Portuguese, but they also lost their league title in May. In short, Turin wants to turn the page and saved Ronaldo’s € 31 million salary to rebuild a new project around his new stars (Federico Chiesa in the lead).

Cristiano Ronaldo

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Problem, at 36 years old and despite the exceptional form of the top scorer of the Euro, Juve will have a hard time finding him a base that suits his ambitions. The Premier League could make everyone happy but no one is moving in the Kingdom at the moment. The trend ? Ronaldo should go to the end of his contract (2021) in Piedmont.

Eden Hazard: The spectacular downgrade

Deadlock. That’s pretty much where Eden Hazard’s future lies. His 360 days of absence (!) Since his arrival in Madrid in 2019 have dramatically lowered the odds of a player who bought 115 million euros just two years ago! Of course, the Belgian international is only 30 years old but his physical fragility surrounds his future with a thick veil. Chelsea would not be against a return of their former master to play. But Real know full well that this summer is undoubtedly the worst time to give up the one who has never brought anything under the Merengue jersey.

Now, what to do ? Sell ​​it off (around 40 million euros) or wait and cross your fingers until the end of your contract (2024)? Failing to make the right decision, Real must aim for the less bad one …

Eden Hazard

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Gareth Bale: Ball once, always ball

Real Madrid have been wanting to part with Gareth Bale and his crazy salary (31 million euros annually) for years. His loan to Tottenham has partly relieved Madrid but Bale has not quite convinced and he intends to take advantage of his very comfortable situation in the Spanish capital. The return to the fold, scheduled this summer, does not delight Real. Even if the departure of Zinedine Zidane and the return of Carlo Ancelotti offer new perspectives to the one ZZ did not want to hear anymore.

But Madrid, engaged in very expensive cases (Lewandowski, Mbappé and / or Haaland), seeks above all to get rid of them. It will undoubtedly be a waste of time as the Welshman seems excited at the idea of ​​returning to Spain. And when Bale wants something, it’s very difficult to make him listen to reason …

Gareth Bale

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Samuel Umtiti: Barça’s fed up

In search of liquidity to extend Messi and pay off his abysmal debt, FC Barcelona will, like every six months, try to find a way out for Samuel Umtiti. Under contract until 2022, the central defender has finished exhausting his club with knee injuries and Barça continues to show him the exit.

But who still wants Big Sam? The problem is still the same: doubts surround his physical reliability and the hero of the semi-final against Belgium in 2018 does not want to hear about a departure from Catalonia. The soup is good on the side of Barça and Umtiti, despite the mistrust of its leaders, intends to complete his contract. So even if timid interests emerge here and there (Marseille in particular), the obstinacy of the former Lyonnais turns the file in circles.

Mauro Icardi: Barred by Mbappé …

Engaged in an ambitious summer (Wijnaldum, Donnarumma, Hakimi, Ramos while waiting for Pogba?), PSG must sell for 160 million euros this summer. If Sergio Rico, Rafinha, Thilo Kehrer and Pablo Sarabia are all for sale, Mauro Icardi is the prime contender for a departure.

First because the Argentine striker, who left good memories in Serie A, has a market and Juventus Turin gives him soft eyes. Then because its sale could be negotiated at 40 million euros and relieve Paris. Completely absent from the debates in 2021, helmed by Kylian Mbappé in the axis, Icardi will not be missed by anyone in the capital …

Mauro icardi

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Coutinho: Desperate situation

Third biggest transfer in history (130 million euros), Coutinho is probably also his biggest flop. While he still has two years of contract at Barcelona, ​​the Brazilian will have a hard time bouncing back this summer. Once again, his annual 9 million euros but especially his serious knee injury from which he is barely recovering are brakes for a possible rebound. His downgrading is such that the one who defended the colors of Bayern until last summer is announced in the viewfinder of OM.


Credit: Getty Images


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