The crisis at Barcelona took a fresh twist on Thursday night with reports that under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu offered Antoine Griezmann to former club Atletico Madrid in a swap deal for Joao Felix.
Spanish outlet Marca reported that Bartomeu, eager to reduce the club’s mammoth wage bill, made the offer just days before Barca ended a trophyless season with a humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich.
The report says Atletico rejected the offer from the Blaugrana of re-signing Griezmann a year after he departed.
As outlined by the report, the Madrid-based club paid €123million (£108m) for Felix from Benfica a year ago as Griezmann departed for the Catalan giants, who triggered his €120m (£105m) release clause.
It went on to say Griezmann is believed to earn around €18m (£15.8) a season, while Joao earns just €3.5m (£3m).
Both players were named in Marca’s Most Disappointing LaLiga team of the season last month, due to each failing to match the expectations of their big-money moves.
Griezmann was offered a bigger role by new boss Ronald Koeman before Lionel Messi asked for a transfer this week.
Koeman has blamed previous management for playing him out position and wants to make Griezmann the focal point of his new team.
The Dutchman wants to give the Frenchman the No 7 shirt, last worn by Philippe Coutinho, who wants a move to the Premier League.
Last week, Bartomeu listed Griezmann on his seven-strong “untouchables” list.
Luis Suarez is also set for the axe.