Xavi sees potential Griezmann problem for Barcelona as talk of €125m deal builds

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The World Cup winner continues to be linked with a summer switch from Atletico Madrid, but reports suggest that not everybody wants him at Camp Nou

Barcelona legend Xavi sees potential problems for those at Camp Nou as talk of a big-money move for Antoine Griezmann builds.

A year on from seeing the France international snub a switch to Catalunya, the Atletico Madrid striker is sparking transfer speculation once more.

He has informed his current club of a desire to move on, with those in the Spanish capital being forced to reluctantly accept that request.

Griezmann does, however, still have to find a buyer, with there a €125 million (£110m/$139m) release clause in his contract yet to be triggered.

Barcelona would be prepared to do a deal, but reports suggest that not everybody at the club would welcome the addition of a player who so publicly turned down a transfer 12 months ago.

Xavi admits that could be an issue, even if the playing staff should have no say in recruitment plans, with there clearly some obstacles to overcome before a World Cup winner can be acquired.

The Blaugrana icon told Sport of the ongoing Griezmann saga: “I understand it hurt what he did last summer.

“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.”

Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid 2018-19

Valverde appears to be in favour of an approach for Griezmann, with the Barcelona boss revealing that efforts to land a “great player” have been opened.

He has said: “It is true we have already made contacts.

“It is true that contacts are ongoing, but the season isn’t over yet. We have the Copa Del Rey final still to play.

“We have the chance of winning two titles and we must try to focus on this issue

“Afterwards we will have time for everything else – we won’t say anything new when we are talking about players from other teams.

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“We will see. He [Griezmann] is a great player. We’ve always said so.”

Griezmann added another 21 goals to his impressive tally in 2018-19, with 133 recorded in just 256 appearances for Atletico.

The 28-year-old has been in Madrid since 2014 but is now destined to open a new chapter in his career.

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