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Ambitious Barcelona contingency plan gets Lionel Messi approval as doubts raised over €100m target – report

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a swoop for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, but doubts have reportedly led to an alternative plan being put forward.

As noted by ESPN, the Frenchman has been paired with talk of a €100m move to the Nou Camp this summer, as per his release clause, after enjoying another stellar campaign for Atleti.

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The 27-year-old bagged 29 goals and 15 assists in 49 appearances, helping his side to the Europa League trophy and a second-placed finish in La Liga, thus reinforcing the point that he would be a quality addition to Ernesto Valverde’s squad.

However, according to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, doubts are emerging over his potential move to join the Catalan giants. Instead, it’s claimed that Lionel Messi has given the green light to a swap deal being proposed to Liverpool which would see Mohamed Salah move to Barca and Ousmane Dembele head in the opposite direction to Merseyside.

Dembele had a difficult first season at the club, as the 21-year-old managed to make just 23 appearances.

Injuries and a settling-in period explain most of his issues, but in terms of reportedly sacrificing him to get Salah, that would seem like an upgrade and an understandable move.

Nevertheless, although Don Balon claim that Klopp would love to work with the Frenchman, there really is no concrete indication that Liverpool would be remotely interested in entertaining the idea of parting company with Salah, and further for a player who has yet to fully convince at the top level.

The winger has enjoyed a memorable first season with Liverpool, and could yet complete it with a Champions League trophy this weekend.

After scoring a staggering 44 goals in 51 games, the Reds will surely be desperate to keep hold of their star man and build around him, and so this really would be an ambitious move from Barca that seems pretty unlikely.

In turn, perhaps the La Liga champions would be well advised to continue to focus on their reported attempts to prise Griezmann away from the capital this summer.

More Stories Antoine Griezmann Lionel Messi Mohamed Salah Ousmane Dembele