Sports

Lionel Messi: 'Barcelona need Antoine Griezmann for Champions League'

Lionel Messi: 'Barcelona need Antoine Griezmann for Champions League'

Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire for Barcelona to spend big to land Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, insisting that his side's Champions League hopes may depend on it.

Earlier on Tuesday, Griezmann said he has made a decision on his future but refused to clarify where he will play next season when speaking to reporters at France's World Cup camp in Russian Federation.

"He did it the previous summer where he wanted to go to Manchester United, everything was agreed, chose to stay, so we're going to have to wait for his decision".

With ongoing speculation linking him with Barcelona, Griezmann had said he would confirm his position before France's World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday.

But he told a news conference: "I apologise - I am really very sorry". "The decision has been taken but it is not the time or the place to talk about it", he said.

Aitor Alcalde  GettyImages
Aitor Alcalde GettyImages

Last summer, Griezmann signed a one-year contract extension with Atletico until 2022 that doubled both his wages from €7m to €14m net for last season only and his release clause from €100m to €200m.

France coach Didier Deschamps prohibits players from undergoing negotiations during tournaments, pushing Griezmann towards making a decision.

Atletico Madrid have reached a "preliminary agreement" to sign Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.

Griezmann has scored 112 goals and assisted a further 40 strikes in 209 games for Atletico since his arrival at the Vicente Calderon in 2014.

IL officer receives award for rescuing boy running on busy highway
Last month - Mannino's dash cam captured a shocking sight - a toddler running all by himself in the right lane of a busy highway. The department's post says the child "escaped his mother's watchful eye" and wandered along Route 59 as traffic whizzed by.


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