Koeman's shock reaction to Griezmann exit


FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has broken his silence on Antoine Griezmann's departure to Atletico Madrid on deadline day, revealing his displeasure with the transfer.

Earlier in the transfer window, the French forward was widely linked with an exit from the Camp Nou but a proposed swap deal between the two aforementioned sides reportedly fell apart after they failed to agree personal terms with Griezmann and Saul Niguez.   

Scroll through the gallery above to see some stars who played for both Atletico and Barca

With the Blaugrana seemingly determined to get the France attacker's wages off their books, Atleti boss Diego Simeone eventually got his marksman late on deadline day, in a loan deal that reportedly contains an "obligation to buy" clause. 

Barca manager Koeman has since given his thoughts on Griezmann's exit, making it clear he was not happy with the timing of the transfer.

"It was a b**ch," the 58-year-old said in an interview with SPORT regarding the timing of the Frenchman's departure. 

"The aggravation that the deadline passed, with practically no time to find a solution.  

"Griezmann had a great contract and if he left, he was going to help improve the financial situation of the club. That is why I agreed to his departure.

"I told the club that if it is important to raise money, Emerson [Royal] can be sold because we have [Sergino] Dest, [Oscar] Mingueza and even Sergi Roberto.

"I was not uncompromising in that sense, because I could have told them, 'No, he doesn't leave here'."

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Koeman also spoke about his intention to stay at the club for the long term, despite Barca's off-pitch struggles.

"I am very excited to continue as Barca coach for many years, despite the difficult moments in the club today," he added. 

"I think that thanks to our decisions, coach and technical staff, Barca has young players with a huge immediate future and hopefully in three, four or five years I can continue."

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