Atletico Madrid welcome back Griezmann as Real sign Camavinga
PARIS: France forward Antoine Griezmann has made a shock return to Atletico Madrid just two years after leaving to join Barcelona, on the final day of a hectic European transfer window.
Real Madrid also bagged a French international star as Eduardo Camavinga arrived from Rennes — but their attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain failed.
World Cup-winning 30-year-old Griezmann, who scored 133 goals in his first spell with Atletico, has rejoined on a one-year loan deal with an option to extend by another year and an obligation to buy, the club said.
“Welcome back, Griezmann!” Atletico wrote on its website.
Barcelona have been struggling financially and had to allow six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi to leave for PSG last month.
Midfield prodigy Camavinga, who is just 18, penned a six-year deal at Real, the club reportedly paying a fee of 31 million euros ($36.6m) plus nine million euros more in bonuses.
It is a considerable sum for the Angolan-born player, who was in the final year of his contract at Rennes.
Real had spent the last week trying to clinch a dizzying deal for 22-year-old forward Mbappe, making two bids, the last understood to be worth a total of 180 million euros.
But PSG’s Qatari owners do not need to sell and appear prepared to risk losing Mbappe for free at the end of the campaign in order to have the World Cup winner, Neymar and Messi together in attack for at least one season.
Real can come back in for Mbappe again in January, when they could sign him to a pre-contract agreement to move next summer without having to pay a transfer fee.
It has been an extraordinary summer transfer window in Europe, with Messi departing Barcelona for Paris and Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday finalising his sensational return to Manchester United from Juventus.
Apart from Messi, PSG have also signed Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid and one of the world’s top goalkeepers, Gianluigi Donnarumma, from AC Milan.
They also strengthened their midfield with Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool and signed flying Morocco right-back Achraf Hakimi, who shone for Inter Milan last season. The latter cost some 60 million euros, with the rest all arriving as free agents.
On Tuesday, the club also announced the signing of teenage Portugal defender Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon, on a season-long loan with an option to buy.
Ronaldo is the latest big-money signing in the Premier League, where the biggest deals have seen Manchester City buy Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100 million ($138m) and Romelu Lukaku return to Chelsea from Inter for £97.5 million.