Griezmann Gives His Verdict On Lionel Messi Transfer Saga

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann

Getty Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann has offered his thoughts on the Lionel Messi’s transfer saga that is dominating the headlines currently across Barcelona.

The captain has stunned the Catalan giants by asking to leave the club ahead of next season, but Barcelona are unwilling to sell and are hoping to keep hold of the 33-year-old.

Griezmann is away with the France national team currently, ahead of Nations League games against Sweden and Croatia, but has offered his thoughts on what he hopes happens next.

“We try to have news, but what happens is between the club and him,” he said. We just hope he stays. We listen to a bit of everything but we don’t know any more.”

The World Cup winner had an underwhelming first season at Barcelona in 2019-20 following his €120 million move from Atletico Madrid. Griezmann struggled to find a natural place in the team in attack alongside Messi and Suarez.

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Griezmann Tipped For New Role at Barcelona

However, Griezmann is being tipped for a new role at Barcelona next season under new manager Ronald Koeman. France boss Didier Deschamps has told reporters he is hopeful he can play in his favored position.

“I will speak with Griezmann, as I do with the rest of the players, they all have different feelings in their clubs and we talk about it, but I don’t have any special message to give him,” he said.

“Today everything is uncertain and it is not known what will happen. Messi will continue, he will not continue … A new coach can mean different ideas. I hope he puts him in a position where he can perform and show all his skills. He doesn’t have that problem with us because he knows exactly what we want from him.”

The France international was frequently played out wide on the left last season and struggled to consistently find his best form. He was also left out of the starting XI for some big games by previous manager Quique Setien.

Yet despite the difficulties he encountered at the Camp Nou in his debut campaign Griezmann still ended the season with a respectable tally of 15 goals in all competitions.

Koeman To Revitalize Griezmann?

Griezmann’s difficulties at Barcelona saw the French forward consider his future at the club, according to his former agent Eric Olhats. He told RMC Sport that Griezmann had thought about leaving until Koeman was appointed.

“Before the disaster vs Bayern, Antoine wanted one thing: to leave. He felt like he was no longer part of the plan, that things couldn’t continue like that. He was seriously looking at it (leaving). Then, there was what we know happened and a conversation with Koeman reassured him, that he was part of his plans, that he considered him as an important player for the future.”

Koeman has already spoken about his plans for Griezmann ahead of the new season which starts in September. He told NOS that he wants to get the best out of the former Atletico Madrid man.

“He is not a traditional winger, so you have to play him in his own position, in a role that suits him and where he can showcase his abilities. You have to know your players as a coach and ensure you get the best out of them.”

Griezmann looks set to play in a central role next season, particularly as Luis Suarez is expected to leave this summer. Barcelona kick off their La Liga campaign on September 27 or 28 against Villarreal.

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