Antoine Griezmann signing could be problematic for Barcelona, says Xavi

Aditya Devavrat 21:52 21/05/2019
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Antoine Griezmann.

Barcelona legend Xavi believes the manner in which Antoine Griezmann turned down a move to the club last summer might make the players less welcoming towards the Frenchman if he joins from Atletico Madrid during this transfer window.

Griezmann flirted with a move last summer, leaving his intentions unclear until the end of an hour-long documentary in which he revealed he was staying at Atletico. However, last week he announced that he would be leaving the club, with Barcelona the likeliest destination.

But reports have suggested that his potential new team-mates are not all in favour of having the World Cup winner among their ranks, and Xavi understands why the players could be against Griezmann’s arrival.

“I understand it hurt what he did last summer,” the former captain told Sport.

“If the reason for the rejection [from Barca players] was only a footballing issue, I’d speak with the dressing room to make them see he’s a player who can bring something.

“We have to see, however, who is signing him? The sporting director? [Ernesto] Valverde? The president?

“If I came to Barca I would ask for the signings, and if the dressing room doesn’t agree with any of them, I’d speak with them, but in the end I decide. Be it Griezmann or whoever.

“Another thing would be if the coach doesn’t want him either. Then we have a problem.”

Valverde is reportedly in favour of signing the man who helped lead France to World Cup glory last summer, though he has been non-committal in public.

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