February 27, 2021

‘We hope Messi stays’ – Griezmann speaks out on Barcelona exit reports

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Recent comments from the star’s father Jorge appear to suggest that Leo may yet remain at Camp Nou beyond this summer

Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann hopes that he will continue to line up alongside Lionel Messi next season, while recognising that it is down to the club and player to resolve their differences. 

Messi shocked the Barca world last week after sending a telegram in which he stated his intentions of leaving the club immediately on a free transfer. 

Barcelona contested Messi’s freedom to make such a move under the terms of his current contract and since the news broke Camp Nou has been struck by uncertainty, as Manchester City sit poised as the reported front-runners should the Argentine wizard cut short his 20-year association with the club. 

Griezmann has just finished his first season as part of the Blaugrana forward line with the club captain and admits that he is hoping for good news. 

“We are trying to stay updated with the issue, but it is between him and the club,” the France international, currently on duty for his national team ahead of their upcoming UEFA Nations League clashes against Portugal and Croatia, explained to M6 on Thursday. 

“We only hope that he stays. I am trying to stay focused on the national team and prepare well for the next two games. 

“We have heard a little of everything but we don’t know anything else about all this affair.”

Griezmann’s chances of retaining Messi as a team-mate appeared to receive a boost on Thursday with the first official sign from the player’s camp that he could be prepared to see out his contract, which expires in 2021. 

The star’s father and agent Jorge flew into Barcelona this week from his native Rosario in order to oversee talks with the club, and subsequently told reporters that those negotiations had gone “well”. 

Messi Sr. also replied in the affirmative when asked whether there was a chance of his son remaining at Camp Nou for the 2020-21 season, while La Liga has also ruled that under the terms of the star’s current contract any interested club would have to meet his €700 million (£630m/$825m) release clause or else negotiate a suitable fee with those in charge at Barcelona.