Atletico Madrid are renowned across the football world for their dark arts on the pitch, but the La Liga outfit are equally wily off it too.
Atleti is doing its utmost to avoid paying Barcelona $AUD57 million for Antoine Griezmann by only giving him less than 30 minutes of game time.
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Griezmann returned to the club on an initial one-year loan deal for the 2021/22 season, but Atleti had the option to keep the French star on loan for a second season.
However, several clauses were written into the deal.
One of those was that Atleti would have to sign Griezmann on a permanent basis for $57 million should he play 30 minutes or more in at least 80 percent of matches in which he’s available to play.
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So, what has Atleti boss Diego Simeone done to swindle Barcelona out of some much-needed cash?
He names Griezmann as a substitute and only brings him on from the 62nd minute onwards.
The 31-year-old logged 28 minutes in Atleti’s first two fixtures of the La Liga season but got slightly less game time against Valencia with 26 minutes of action.
Despite the limited minutes, it hasn’t stopped Griezmann from finding the back of the net as he scored against Getafe in the first game of the season as well as against Valencia.
Atleti’s cheeky way to get around paying Barcelona is certainly not music to the ears of the Camp Nou powerbrokers, who have had to get extremely creative to navigate around a sea of financial issues.