Lionel Messi supports major Barcelona swap deal for €100m summer target

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Ousmane Dembele’s first season at Barcelona has been a real struggle, and reports continue to link him with an exit from the club this summer.

As per BBC Sport, the 20-year-old joined the Catalan giants in a deal that could total £135.5m, and so that in itself would have piled the pressure on for him to perform and make an instant impact.

He hasn’t been able to do that as injuries have limited him to just nine appearances so far this season, while when he has featured, he hasn’t looked settled as he simply hasn’t had the regular playing time to adapt and sync in with his new teammates.

Nevertheless, it would still arguably be a real shame if Barcelona didn’t give him more time to find his feet, but according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, he could be heading to Atletico Madrid in a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann.

The French international endured a slow start to the campaign, but he’s now got 13 goals and nine assists after 31 appearances so far this year, while he’s been proving his importance and class for club and country for years now.

How he fits into a side with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho amongst others is a debate for another time, but with Diario Gol noting he has a €100m release clause, Dembele could go a long way to off-setting that given his price-tag noted above.

In an even bigger blow to Dembele, it’s claimed that Messi has given his approval to the deal, as if accurate, he seemingly hasn’t been left impressed with what he’s seen from him this season.

The Argentine icon will undoubtedly be desperate to ensure that Barca continue to compete for major honours in the latter stages of his career ahead of turning 31 this summer, and it would appear as though he believes Griezmann offers a better chance of that compared to Dembele.

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