The Antoine Griezmann Barcelona link might be dead in the water, with reports suggesting that Lionel Messi will forbid any such move.
Atletico Madrid star Griezmann has been linked with a Barcelona move following speculation this summer.
With the talented Frenchman’s release clause set to double in July, Barcelona hope to complete a deal in advance, The Sun claims.
If all goes smoothly, the La Liga club will get their man for £89m.
However, club legend Messi could throw a spanner in the works.
According to Spanish outlet Diario Gol, the Argentine doesn’t want Griezmann at the Nou Camp.
This contradicts earlier rumours that linked Messi with a move away from the club. According to AS, he is unhappy with the lack of quality in the playing squad.
Diario Gol claims that Messi has no personal problem with Griezmann, but doesn’t see where he would fit into the team.
The report suggests that he feels that the Atletico Madrid man would impact the role of current striker Luis Suarez.
Having supposedly blocked a move for Griezmann this summer, he will look to do so again if a move materialises.
Griezmann Barcelona link: why would the La Liga club want him?
Despite paying £135.5m for Ousmane Dembele during the summer, Barcelona failed to secure a marquee signing following Neymar’s exit.
The club lost their Brazilian star to Paris Saint-Germain in a £198m deal and subsequently struggled to find a replacement. They failed in attempts to land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Angel di Maria from PSG.
Dembele hasn’t performed badly – he has provided two assists in four games – but he is one for the future and doesn’t quite have the star power that Barcelona fans crave.
Griezmann would undoubtedly fill that Neymar-shaped hole in terms of quality. However, it’s hard to see where he would fit into the team.
The Mirror claims that new boss Ernesto Valverde wants to pair him up with Messi at the top of the pack.
Yet, that would involve discarding the 30+ goals that Suarez provides each season. Somehow, that seems unlikely.
Alternatively, Griezmann could be deployed out wide. He featured on the wing for Real Sociedad and played out wide during his early Madrid days.