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Is Griezmann really worth all the fuss for Barcelona?

first_imgBarcelona may well kick off the new season with Neymar and Antoine Griezmann up front alongside Lionel Messi in a remodelled front three, but the indications from Catalonia are that they can only afford one of them this summer and, if they had to choose, then the priority would be re-signing Neymar.The Brazilian might be seen in some quarters as damaged goods but he still has plenty of allies in the Barca dressing room, including the captain Messi. Neymar has a proven track record at Barca, having won the 2015 Champions League, and would be welcomed back even if the complexity of the deal is epic in its scale.New developments at Paris Saint-Germain since Leonardo arrived as sporting director have taken place at warp speed. This is a club that for the last two years did everything to cater to the whims of Neymar, their most expensive ever player. But times are changing. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare After yet another Champions League failure – and an inability to capture what should have been a routine French treble – it is a question of attitude rather than ability for the capital club. Anyone not plugging into a new – and seemingly strict – collective ethos will be moved on. It has been made known by Leonardo in the past few days that Neymar is not excluded from that threat.Quite what effect that will have on the 27-year-old’s transfer fee is another matter. Now that Neymar has been actively made available, clubs interested in his signature have been placed in the stronger bargaining position. And since Barca are – so far- the only club to make their interest known, they lead the way.But that could derail what Griezmann had hoped to be a straightforward summer switch. When on May 14 Griezmann advised manager Diego Simeone that he would be seeking a new challenge in summer, it was widely assumed that a move to Barca was a fait accompli. He had deferred a move to Catalonia the summer previous in the form of a self-regarding video and instead committed to a new five-year contract at Atleti.This summer however and the winds of change are blowing through the Wanda Metropolitano. The old guard has been cleared out and a new generation will be led by Marcos Lllorente and teenage striker Joao Felix who, interestingly, has been handed Griezmann’s No. 7 shirt. But Griezmann hasn’t left yet or – more accurately – hasn’t yet been signed by the Spanish champions.The latest news from Spain is that Barca have asked to postpone the payment of Griezmann’s €120 million release clause to a later date and, effectively, avail of the player’s services this coming season for no fee. That was met with indignation from Atleti, who issued a strong statement on Saturday against Barca and their once-beloved forward.Neymar, PSGAtleti revealed that Barca and Griezmann connived in March to agree to personal terms having been in contact since the month previous. They announced their rejection of Barca’s offer and demanded Griezmann show up to their pre-season programme set for Sunday evening.The World Cup winner was instead pictured on board a yacht off Ibiza, sipping a bottle of beer with – seemingly – not a care in the world. A representative cited “emotional stress” and a legally-mandated 30-day holiday period as the reasons behind his stayaway. Coincidentally, Neymar pulled the same ruse just 24 hours later with PSG not happy about their star turn failing to report for duty.Both are contractually obliged to show up for work and Griezmann may yet appear if a transfer isn’t done in the next couple of days. He will be disciplined by Atleti with a hefty fine reported to be coming his way.Griezmann is in a kind of limbo. Atleti have moved on; paying the €126m to Benfica for Joao Felix saw to that and he doesn’t have a shirt in the locker room. Barca are widely seen as his next destination but they have had their heads turned by Neymar.Do Barca rate Griezmann as highly as they do Neymar? He is a really good player, a sure thing on most people’s top 10 list. But he is not Messi and he is not Neymar. He has scored consistently for Atleti – their go-to guy as Diego Costa struggled for form and discipline – and is a key man for the national team too.Right at the top edge, however, and Griezmann could be said to be lacking something. Whether it’s going missing in the Champions League last 16 second-leg against Juventus or missing penalties against Real in the 2016 final, Griezmann lacks a ruthless streak when it matters.He would be a decorative player at best – especially in a line-up alongside Messi, where Neymar played second-fiddle when he was arguably better than he is now.And now their futures appear to be entwined. Barca wanted Griezmann and he wanted Barca. Now Neymar has come available, it’s changed the focus. Griezmann still wants Barca but time will tell if they think he’s worth the fuss.last_img read more

3 Head Coaches On The “Hot Seat” Following Week 4

first_imgA closeup of Jim Harbaugh wearing a Michigan hat and jacket.PISCATAWAY, NJ – NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines coaches against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the third quarter at HighPoint.com Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan won 42-7. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)College football’s “hot seat” lists have gained a massive name following Week 4 of the regular season on Saturday.Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has joined the list of coaches who might be at risk of losing their jobs heading into the final months of the season.Here are three head coaches on the “hot seat” after Week 4.Michigan head coach Jim HarbaughLook, Michigan isn’t going to “fire” Jim Harbaugh. At least, that seems incredibly unlikely. Harbaugh starred as a player for the Wolverines and, despite a lack of big-game success, has elevated Michigan’s program back to a level that Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke couldn’t. Still, it might be time for both sides to move on.Michigan was embarrassed by Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines entered the season with Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff hopes. Those goals – while still in reach – seem unrealistic.Would Harbaugh get pushed toward an NFL head coaching job (the New York Giants, perhaps?) if Michigan disappoints the rest of the way? That seems possible now.Rutgers head coach Chris AshIf any Big Ten head coach is going to actually get fired this season, it’s going to be Chris Ash, whose Scarlet Knights fell to Boston College on Saturday.NJ.com wrote on Saturday night that Ash could be fired at some point during the regular season.Watch out for some major changes in New Brunswick.Here’s why Chris Ash might get fired before Rutgers’ season even ends | Politi https://t.co/xHmLi3NwP8 pic.twitter.com/JMujaT1mKS— NJ.com (@njdotcom) September 22, 2019Florida State head coach Willie TaggartFlorida State got a much-needed win on Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t pretty. The Seminoles nearly blew a massive lead, before winning 35-24.Taggart’s Seminoles are now 2-2 on the season and, even with a win on Saturday, haven’t inspired a ton of optimism so far this season.Florida State might not want to move on from Taggart after just two seasons, but unless there’s a big second half of the season rally, the Seminoles could be forced to.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,202.37, up 73.68 points):Trican Well Service Ltd. (TSX:TCW). Oil and gas. Up five cents, or 1.41 per cent, to $3.59 on 5.9 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 54 cents, or 4.35 per cent, to $12.96 on 5.7 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Up 26 cents, or 8.55 per cent, to $3.30 on 5.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up two cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $2.40 on 4.8 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Up 61 cents, or 6.55 per cent, to $9.93 on 4.6 million shares.Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Miner. Up 2.5 cents, or 1.90 per cent, to $1.34 on 4.3 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Cott Corp. (TSX:BCB). Beverages – non-alcoholic. Up $1.18, or 6.40 per cent, to $19.61 on 1.6 million shares. The company has signed a deal to sell its traditional beverage manufacturing business to Dutch company Refresco for US$1.25 billion. read more