Soccer NewsTuesday 19th June 2018

Barcelona duo could be in hot water, post-World Cup talks scheduled

Barcelona duo could be in hot water, post-World Cup talks scheduled

After months of speculation, Atletico Madrid forward and Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann finally made an announcement on his club future last week.

As noted by AS, the French international was expected to either remain at the Wanda Metropolitano or consider a move to join the Catalan giants, with a video documentary revealing his intention to opt for the former.

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That in itself would have been a blow for Barcelona in their bid to bolster their world-class attacking options further, as they’ll now have to consider other targets to strengthen Ernesto Valverde’s squad ahead of next season.

Nevertheless, given he already has Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal, it’s questionable as to whether he would even have been able to fit Griezmann in or find a way to keep them all happy by rotating.

According to ESPN, the La Liga champions aren’t particularly impressed with the roles played by Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in the matter, with the former’s production company putting together the Griezmann video while Umtiti promoted it on his social media accounts.

Understandably, it’s enough to have seemingly irritated Barcelona, with vice-president Jordi Mestre revealing that they’ll be talking with the two players after they return from the World Cup later this summer.

“[Club president Josep Maria] Bartomeu spoke with Pique to tell him that his involvement provoked surprise and discomfort at the club and among fans. We will speak with him and Umtiti internally after the World Cup about what happened but we won’t make any more public comments.”

That sounds a little ominous for both Pique and Umtiti, as although no major action is expected to be taken, they’ve evidently not impressed their club by being so involved in Griezmann’s eventual decision to stay with Atleti.

Had he opted for Barca instead, they would have arguably been heralded for playing an influential role in the decision. Instead, it hasn’t reflected well on them and it remains to be seen what comes from it.