FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are negotiating the permanent sale of Antoine Griezmann.
The Frenchman was bought by Barca for a monstrous fee of €120mn ($122mn) in 2019, on the watch of previous president Josep Bartomeu.
After failing to impress at Camp Nou, however, and under four different managers, the World Cup winner was sent back on loan to Atleti at the start of last season.
It was believed that the original deal consisted of a two-year loan with Atleti obliged to buy the 31-year-old for €40mn ($40.6 mn) if he played in more than 50% of the minutes in games.
In this second season of the arrangement, however, Barca have been angered by Griezmann not starting matches under Diego Simeone and instead only seeming to make an entrance in the action on 63 minutes without fail.
This triggered reports last week that Barca were considering legal action and were confident that the loan deal was only valid for one year while Atleti needed to pay up already.
Perhaps eager to avoid a long, drawn-out battle in the courts, Atleti have now been prompted to negotiate Griezmann’s transfer with the Catalans according to reliable sources in France such as L’Equipe and RMC Sport.
Representing a considerable loss on the mammoth fee they paid for his services three years ago, Barca could receive a pitiful €25mn ($25.4mn) for their former winger but the money would be much welcomed in times when the current board led by Joan Laporta are eager to raise funds.
The cash could help Barca navigate Financial Fair Play rules and make reinforcements in the upcoming transfer window in January, and the Griezmann saga could finally be put to bed.
Rejecting Barca in the summer of 2018 after his World Cup triumph in Russia with Les Bleus, Griezmann was persuaded to join them 12 months later but may go down in history as one of the club’s biggest flops alongside Philippe Coutinho.
Winning just a sole trophy at Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey, Griezmann found it hard to gel with Lionel Messi and was alo played out of his best position on the left wing.