Lionel Messi anger risked by Barcelona, but club have plan for €100m signing

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Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Antoine Griezmann at the end of the season, but it may not entirely sit well with Lionel Messi, as per reports.

It’s difficult to see why the Catalan giants would even consider ways in which to strengthen given how they’ve started their season, as they sit top of the La Liga table and their Champions League group without a loss on their record.

In turn, the hierarchy can certainly be pleased with the job that Ernesto Valverde has done since he was appointed this past summer, but there could be a problem brewing with transfer targets in mind for next summer.

According to Diario Gol, Barcelona will make a move for Griezmann next summer with his release clause standing at €100m, and they are said to have a way of working round Messi’s potential problem as he doesn’t want to see Luis Suarez’s position in the team sacrificed to make space for the Frenchman.

The Uruguayan has struggled this season with just five goals in 17 appearances in all competitions, while he’ll turn 31 in January with an argument possibly to be made that a replacement will be needed sooner rather than later.

As for Griezmann, a player of his standing and quality won’t want to leave a prominent role at Atletico Madrid for the bench at the Nou Camp, and that is where the problem lies, with the report noting that Messi wants Suarez to continue to be a focal point.

In turn, the suggestion is that Barcelona will play all three together and will slowly begin the process of phasing Suarez out as he gets on in age. What that means for summer signing Ousmane Dembele remains to be seen though, as he’ll also be battling for the same places, albeit at 20, he still has his entire career ahead of him.

It’s a tricky situation for Barca, but it sounds as though they’ve found a potential compromise. Now, if reports of their interest in Griezmann are genuine, they’ll have to reach an agreement with Atleti over a transfer fee and on personal terms with the Frenchman, and they could have another world-class forward in their squad next season.

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