• Griezmann spent two seasons at Barcelona
  • He netted 35 goals and 17 assists for Barca
  • He has returned to Atletico on a loan deal for 2021-22

FC Barcelona Tuesday signed Seville striker Luuk de Jong on loan as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who returned to Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann has moved to Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan deal worth $12 million. His contract includes a compulsory permanent transfer clause, according to Barcelona's official release.

"FC Barcelona would like to thank Antoine Griezmann for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future," the Catalans said in the release. Griezmann, who joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019, scored 35 goals and provided 17 assists in as many as 102 competitive appearances for the Catalans across two seasons.

Atletico will pay Griezmann's full wages and next summer, the Wanda Metropolitano side will sign the Frenchman permanently for a fee of around $47 million, according to ESPN.

On the deadline day (Tuesday) of the 2021 summer transfer market, Barcelona reached an agreement for a loan move for Seville forward de Jong until June 30, 2022. The Camp Nou side also said in a statement that it will pay the player's full wages, while the contract has an option to make the deal permanent.

De Jong spent two seasons at Seville, scoring 19 goals and five assists in 94 appearances for the club, across all competitions. In the 2019-20 season, he played a key role in Seville's Europa League win. He scored three goals in the competition, including a brace against Inter Milan in the final and helped the Spanish side seal the game 3-2.

It is understood that even prior to Griezmann's departure, head coach Ronald Koeman wanted a solid No. 9 and wanted Barcelona to chase de Jong but sporting directors Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes were not convinced.

However, when the transfer market was close to ending Tuesday, the Catalans opened negotiations with Seville in a bid to bring depth to their squad, especially after losing Lionel Messi and Griezmann this summer.

Griezmann has rejoined Atletico on a one-year loan deal with an option to extend by another year
Griezmann has rejoined Atletico on a one-year loan deal with an option to extend by another year AFP / LLUIS GENE

Because of their poor financial conditions, Barcelona were forced to offload Griezmann, whose salary is believed to have been around $25 million per year.

It was earlier reported that Barcelona were looking to use Griezmann in a swap deal to land Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, however, that did not happen and Niguez eventually joined Chelsea on loan for the 2021-22 campaign.


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