Sports Burst - Third Time Lucky for Barcelona?

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

Griezmann's change of heart at Atletico signals a Barcelona move for the French forward 

 

A normally upbeat, happy-go-lucky coworker of Sports Burst mattered grumpily the other day that Neymar's move from Barcelona to PSG in the summer of 2017 "wrecked football for 10 years."

The point being made was that the transfer ripped too many holes in the transfer space-time continuum and caused a market-shattering escalation in fees. Barcelona have suffered from both impacts. The club has failed twice - at huge expense - to replace a footballer with the skill and impact of Neymar and are now set to take a third swipe at it by bringing in Antoine Griezmann. 

The first part of that scenario happened on Tuesday - as predicted on a rare good day for Sports Burst - with the Atletico Madrid player deciding that he was properly done with being a Rojiblanco just 12 months or so after signing a five-year contract with Atleti

"I have taken the decision to leave, to see other things, to have other challenges," confessed Griezmann in a considerably less elaborate video than last year's. 

The expected move to Barcelona will then kick off more Neymar-inspired chaos as Barca looks to offload Philippe Coutinho to fund Griezmann's $134 million buy-out clause. Coutinho was Barcelona's second attempt to plug Neymar's gap as it were, after Ousmane Dembele did not work out so well. 

The Sports Burst live show with Gabrielle Amado will try and track the butterfly effect on the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

 

Chelsea set to sack Sarri despite fairly successful season 

 

One of the possible destinations for Coutinho is Chelsea. However, the player would be a less than perfect replacement for the immense Eden Hazard, who is expected to be going to Real Madrid this summer to try and be the next Cristiano Ronaldo. 

However, it is unclear who the Brazilian's coach will be - and that of the incoming Christian Pulisic - as Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming that Chelsea are set to do what Chelsea do and sack a perfectly adequate coach on a whim. 

Despite finishing in third, reaching the Europa League final - all while having to field Gonzalo Higuain up front - the Italian paper is predicting that Maurizio Sarri will be fired by Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovic, due to a prickly relationship with fans. 

 

No need to feel too sorry for Sarri though, as the Italian will end up back in his homeland to either take over at Milan or Roma. Or Juve. It's a bit up in the air. 

As for Chelsea? Jose Mourinho is available again. Something to consider as the team is currently in Boston ahead of a charity game with the New England Revolution to support projects promoting equality and tolerance. 

 

Ajax to scrub bad Champions League memories away

 

A week after a rather glum Wednesday for Ajax, the Dutch giants have a chance to turn those frowns upside down today by officially clinching the Eredivisie title in the division's final game of the season.

A point for Ajax against De Graafschap - or not losing the last match by about 14 goals - should do the trick. Remarkably, it will be the first Eredivisie title won by Ajax since 2014. 

 

The Italian Cup final is also taking place on Wednesday with People's Favorites Atalanta taking on perhaps the most unloveable club in the world in the form of Lazio. On a quick aside, beIN SPORTS will be showing the Emir Cup from Qatar on Thursday at 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT, which will also be a last chance to catch Xavi Hernandez in action as the footballer heads into retirement. 

Marcelo Bielsa's mission to make it to the Premier League continues today. Leeds United failed to reach the top-two places in the Championship but are on the brink of making it to the play-off final. Leeds are currently 1-0 up against Derby County and have home advantage today. The winner will face Aston Villa. 

Post to Post: The Soccer Show will wrap up all the day's goings on at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT live on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.