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Barcelona Eye Swap Deal for Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez with Atletico Madrid

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez may be involved in a swap deal (Twitter)

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez may be involved in a swap deal (Twitter)

Barcelona want a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez that could help ease their wage bill.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are in talks for a swap deal involving Antoine Griezmann and Saul Niguez.

In the move, Saul Niguez would move to Barcelona for 15 million euros as part of the deal or more players such as Renan Lodi or Mario Hermoso. Griezmann would, in turn, return to Atletico after moving to Barcelona in a €120m deal two years ago.

According to reports, If Saul leaves Atletico, he will do after eight seasons, in which he helped Atletico win La Liga last season.

Saul has been at the centre of much speculation with a move to the Premier League being on the cards. Reports suggest that Manchester United and Liverpool are n interested in the midfielder.

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Barcelona, on the other hand, are looking to offload Griezmann as they are eager to cut their wage bill.

Messi Deal Close?

Barcelona are also on the verge of agreeing a deal with Lionel Messi for the Argentinean to remain at the club for a further five years, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Messi is currently out of contract after his last deal with the club expired on June 30th, with talks over a new deal dragging on. The main problem with the negotiations was finding a formula that would keep Messi at the club, while ensuring his wages would not breach wage ceiling requirements imposed on Barca by La Liga.

That conundrum looks now to have been solved with Messi agreeing to a new five-year contract, with wage cut of around 50 percent on his previous deal. The player has reportedly accepted a net income reported to be in the region of 20 million euros (about 23.7 million US dollars) a year, plus a bonus for agreeing to put pen to paper.

The length of the contract is surprising given that Messi is 34 years old, but there is also the chance the contract will include a clause allowing him to leave Barca after a further two or three years.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta will view the agreement as an important personal success after replacing Josep Maria Bartomeu as the head of the club in March, promising to keep Messi at the club after the Argentinean had publicly said he wanted to leave last summer.

Messi is currently on holiday after leading Argentina to victory in the recent Copa America, but the media speculate the new contract will be made public before the end of the week.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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