FC Barcelona News

Ronald Koeman Slams Antoine Griezmann's Deadline Day Move to Atletico Madrid

By Amreen
Griezmann returned to Atletico on deadline day
Griezmann returned to Atletico on deadline day / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
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Ronaldo Koeman has admitted that Antoine Griezmann's deadline day move to Atletico Madrid was "a b*tch".

Barcelona struggled throughout the summer transfer window to cut costs and offload players in an attempt to lower their wage bill. Negotiations carried on until the final hours on deadline day, with Griezmann returning to Atletico and Luuk de Jong making the switch to Camp Nou.

“The aggravation we had on the last day, with practically no time to find a solution, it was a b*tch," Koeman told SPORT. “Griezmann had a great contract and if he left it was going to help improve the financial situation of the club. That's why I agreed to his departure.”

It was suggested by many that the addition of De Jong seemed like a panic decision, but Koeman insisted that wasn't the case, and added: "I had already spoken to [De Jong] in early August about the possibility of signing him. I wanted a forward different from what I had and I thought of him because I know him very well.

“In fact, I was wondering how it was possible that Barca never had a forward like Luuk. He is going to give us something different, especially with his aerial game and in set-pieces. With him, we can play a more direct style. I'm very happy with his signing.”

Koeman also insisted that Barca can "achieve great things" despite losing Lionel Messi and Griezmann, and admitted he is looking forward to being able to call upon players who have been sidelined with injuries.

“I know [Ansu Fati] very well and I know what he can give us,” Koeman said of Barca's new No.10. “But we don't want to rush him, he has been standing still for a long time. There is still much to do – the same goes for Coutinho.

“I'm 100 per cent convinced that Coutinho has the talent to succeed at Barca, I like him a lot. The last injury he had was a strong blow for him and he has to recover well both physically and mentally to come back stronger than ever.

“[Ousmane] Dembele is a very, very good player if he is physically well. He is great in one-v-ones, has a lot of speed and can play on both wings. He will be vital for us when he recovers and I hope that he renews his contract.”

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