Antoine Griezmann has admitted that Barcelona’s players are being kept in the dark over the Lionel Messi transfer saga, but says he is hopeful the club captain will see out the final year of his contract.
The Messi situation has been one big confusing mess from the moment he faxed the club citing his desire to leave, with an exit initially seeming imminent after he followed up a disagreement with Ronald Koeman by failing to show up for training and medical testing.
The prevailing view, for now, is that he is likely to stay, since he is unwilling to drag his relationship with the club through the mud by taking them to court. The story changes with tireless frequency, however – there’s always the risk it will be redundant by the time this piece makes it through the edit.
In any case, it will come as little surprise to hear that Griezmann doesn’t want the iconic No.10 to leave, especially with Martin Braithwaite eyeing up his shirt number. Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, the former Atletico star says Barça players know precious little about the situation – but he remains hopeful Messi will stay.
“We try to have news, but what happens is between the club and him,” he said. “We just hope he stays. We listen to a bit of everything but we don’t know more on our part.”
Bizarrely, and somewhat controversially, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos agrees. The Los Blancos captain, who has had multiple high-profile clashes with Messi on the pitch, spoke to reporters this week, and expressed the view that his departure would be a major blow for the profile of Spanish football.
“With regards to Messi, I think it’s not an issue that concerns us,” Ramos said. “He has earned the right to decide his future.
“I don’t know if he is doing it in the best way, but of course for Spanish football, for Barcelona and for us, who like to win while being the best, we would like him to stay here.”