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Barcelona President Denies Reports That Players Were Against Antoine Griezmann Signing

Credit: EFE

Credit: EFE

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has dismissed reports claiming that Barca’s players didn’t want the club to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer.

The former Atletico Madrid forward has enjoyed a sweet start of the season, having outstanding performances, scoring two goals and dishing one assist. He joined the Catalan giants in July for €120 million, following a long transfer saga that saw him almost land in Catalonia a year earlier, only for the player to eventually opt to stay at Atletico for a further season and find his way to the Camp Nou this year.

This whole situation wasn’t clear until the Blaugrana finally announced the arrival of Griezmann, which led to reports suggesting that Barcelona players were against this move, including Lionel Messi, who was seemingly in favor of the club pushing through a move to re-sign Neymar.

Nevertheless, Bartomeu has denied that this was the case and stated that the players do not influence the club's transfer policy.

"The dressing room did not reject us signing Griezmann. The players don't give their opinions on signings, it is the technical team who decide," he told Barca TV, as quoted by AS.

He also talked about the team’s transfer plans during the summer, admitting that the club was interested in signing Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, but the player decided to join Serie A champions Juventus instead.

"De Ligt was one of our targets, but he decided not to come to Barca," he added.

They had big plans with de Ligt, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good with the squad they have right now.

"This squad is more competitive than last season's," Bartomeu added. "It's a small squad, but very competitive. Ernesto Valverde accepts the level of demand and I am expecting a lot from this season."

They landed a great player in Griezmann that surely boosted their squad. Even if those reports were real, Griezmann has made sure to change his teammates’ minds with his good performances at the beginning of the season.