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Barcelona Sends Antoine Griezmann Back to Atlético Madrid to Cap Transfer Window

MADRID (AP) — The transfer deadline ended with Atlético Madrid getting Antoine Griezmann back and Real Madrid failing to seal a deal for Kylian Mbappé, settling instead for young midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, a teammate of Mbappé at the French national team.

Madrid couldn’t persuade Paris Saint-Germain to sell its star despite offers that reportedly surpassed 200 million euros ($236 million).

Griezmann, meanwhile, returned to Atlético on a loan deal from cost-cutting Barcelona in negotiations that saw Atlético’s Saul Niguez move to Chelsea and Sevilla’s Luuk de Jong join the Catalan club.

The 30-year-old Griezmann returns to Atlético on a one-year loan with the option for another, renewable by either club. He played two seasons with Barcelona, where he never quite found his stride since joining on a fee of 120 million euros ($142 million). He had played five seasons under coach Diego Simeone at Atlético.

Barcelona said Atlético will pay Griezmann’s wages, and that the deal included an obligatory permanent transfer clause for an undisclosed amount.

City rival Madrid had a frustrating end to the transfer window as it couldn’t convince PSG to sell Mbappé.

PSG had confirmed last week that Madrid offered about 160 million euros ($189 million) for the 22-year-old forward but it didn’t think it was enough. The Spanish powerhouse reportedly increased its offer again on Tuesday but again without success reaching a deal, meaning it will likely have to wait until the end of the season to add Mbappé to its squad.

Mbappé’s contract ends next year and he will be able to move to Spain for free.

Madrid couldn’t secure Mbappé but brought in the 18-year-old Camavinga from Rennes to freshen a midfield that includes veterans Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.

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Camavinga, who signed a six-year contract, was in the French squad along with Mbappé in the Nations League last year.

He made his debut for France’s senior team in September last year. At 17 years and 303 days, he became the third youngest player in the history of the national team.

Barcelona, which earlier in the transfer window lost Lionel Messi to PSG because of its financial struggles, made more salary cap room by selling youngster Illaix Moriba to Leipzig and sending defender Emerson to Tottenham on a loan.

Barcelona said the deal for the 18-year-old Moriba was worth 16 million euros ($19 million) plus variables. The Catalan club will keep the right for 10% of any future sale of the player who made 18 first-team appearances since debuting last year.

Barcelona said Emerson was sold to Tottenham for 25 million euros ($29.5 million).

Promoted Mallorca, whose president is former American tennis player Andy Kohlberg, signed U.S. striker Matthew Hoppe on a four-year contract.

Rayo Vallecano, also back in the first division this season, was reported to have struck a deal to sign Radamel Falcao, the 35-year-old veteran of Colombia’s national team who had been with Galatasaray.

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