Barcelona's odds of winning La Liga drift following Antoine Griezmann exit

Ronald Koeman has a job on his hands following the exit of another key player to rivals Atletico Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann's deadline day departure has led to Barcelona's La Liga odds drifting. 

Under pressure from La Liga to balance their books, Barca further depleted their squad by allowing Griezmann to rejoin Atletico Madrid on loan.

The Frenchman joined Barca in 2019/20 for £107million but, like Luis Suarez last season, has departed Camp Nou for Diego Simeone's side.

The initial loan deal will see Griezmann join Atleti permanently for £34.4million next summer.

Since the announcement, Barca's odds for winning the league have eased from 9/4 to 5/2, while Atleti are now 9/4.

Ronald Koeman's side are a huge 20/1 to win Europe's elite competition.

How has it come to this?

With more than £1bn worth of debt, La Liga rulers issued an ultimatum to Barca: sell players and cut down the wage bill or new players can't be registered.

The free transfer of Georginio Wijnaldum went up in smoke and deals for Sergio AgueroMemphis Depay and Eric Garcia were left hanging by a thread.

But the main priority was tying down Lionel Messi.

The £230million investment from CVC Capital Partners in La Liga had brought renewed hope that Messi would sign a new five-year deal at the Spanish outfit.

Apparently not.

'Financial obstacles' would block the contract offer and stop Messi from re-signing.

That was it, Messi had played his last game for Barcelona. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner soon announced with a heavy heart that he would not be playing for Barcelona this season and within days he had heavy pockets, signing for PSG for a reported two-year deal worth £1million per week.

When it rains it pours

Last summer saw the departure of Luis Suarez for just £5.5million to Atletico. The reason: he was deemed too old at 33.

So quite what the thinking was behind Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets taking a pay cut to bring in another 33-year-old in Aguero is anybody's guess.

And in a worrying repeat of the previous season, another major name was out the door on deadline day - this time Griezmann. Talk about helping your rivals out.

Griezmann was one of three players to depart on the final day of the window with Emerson Royal and Ilaix Moriba moving to Spurs and RB Leipzig, respectively.

Junior Firpo was another player who left the club in the summer, joining Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United for £13million.

The glory days of Messi, Suarez, Neymar and Griezmann are now a distant memory. And with a forward line now comprising ex-Middlesbrough forward Martin Braithwaite, Manchester United flop Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong they won't be returning any time soon.

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