La Liga transfer news: all change at Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid
The top three clubs in Spain prepare for a busy summer
There’s still one round of matches remaining to be played in Spain’s La Liga but already big changes are happening with the division’s top teams.
Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid could be set for a big summer with ins and outs, squad reshuffles and long-term planning on the agenda.
One player who will definitely make a huge move at the end of the season is Antoine Griezmann. The French forward will leave Atletico after five years and is set to sign for Barcelona.
The World Cup winner said on Twitter: “It’s been an incredible five years. Thank you very much for everything, I take you in the heart.”
Sky Sports reports that Barca will trigger the £108m release clause in the 28-year-old’s contract.
Here we look at the latest transfer news and speculation surrounding La Liga’s biggest clubs and players.
Atletico Madrid: Simeone faces an exodus
Griezmann is the latest player to join the “exodus” from Atletico, Marca reports. Head coach Diego Simeone faces the tough task of building a new-look squad ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Lucas Hernandez, Griezmann’s French team-mate, has signed for Bayern Munich in an €80m (£69.5m) deal while star defender Diego Godin is also leaving. The Uruguay international’s contract is expiring and he is expected to join Inter Milan.
Juanfran is leaving on a free transfer and there’s also question marks surrounding the futures of Filipe Luis, Rodri, Nikola Kalinic, Gelson Martins and Saul Niguez.
Despite the old guard moving on Simeone could have €200m (£174m) to spend this summer on new recruits.
Players linked with a move to the Wanda Metropolitano include Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
There could also be a triple raid on Porto with one ESPN reporting that Felipe, Hector Herrera and Alex Telles are all on Simeone’s hit-list.
Real Madrid: Zidane’s revolution
Real head coach Zinedine Zidane is also preparing to make wholesale changes to his squad this summer.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba could both move to the Bernabeu while other names linked in recent months include Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
If Zidane is to bring in a new set of Galacticos then he will need to clear some space in the dressing room and free up funds for transfer fees and wages.
Up to 14 players could leave the Bernabeu this summer, Football Espana reports, as Zidane plots Real’s aim of challenging for the La Liga and Champions League titles in 2019-20.
Players nearing the exit include Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas, Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Sergio Reguilon, Jesus Vallejo, James Rodriguez, Mateo Kovacic, Theo Hernandez, Borja Mayoral, Oscar, Raul de Tomas and Martin Odegaard.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported this week that French giants Paris Saint-Germain are lining up a triple swoop for Bale, Isco and Toni Kroos.
Barcelona: Griezmann in, Coutinho out?
The expected arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico has been prompted by the Champions League semi-final horror-show against Liverpool.
Three goals up after the first leg, Barca were hotly tipped to reach the final on 1 June. However, a 4-0 hammering at Anfield saw Lionel Messi and Co crash out of Europe.
Barca have won another La Liga title this season but it’s the Champions League the club really crave.
In order to reign again in Europe head coach Ernesto Valverde must make changes ahead of the new season. But Valverde’s position is also on the line after the Anfield debacle.
One of the big casualties is expected to be Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. Barca want to sell the former Liverpool man and he could end up returning to the Premier League. Chelsea and Manchester United are linked.
It was confirmed in January that Ajax star Frenkie de Jong, 22, will be joining Barca in the summer and it’s likely that his Dutch team-mate Matthijs de Ligt will also be heading to the Camp Nou. According to SPORT 19-year-old defender De Ligt is close to sealing the move to Barca.
AS reports that it could be an Ajax triple for Barca as the bookies say they are firm favourites to also sign Donny van de Beek. The 21-year-old midfielder is a target for PSG, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Players who could leave the Camp Nou this summer include full-back Nelson Semedo and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. Midfielder Ivan Rakitic has also been linked with Inter, Chelsea and Manchester United.