7th September, 2019
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has come out to say that the club players have no input into transfer issues and were not against the signing of Antoine Griezmann.
There were some rumours in Spain making the rounds, claiming members of the Ernesto Valverde’s squad were opposed to the pursuit of France international Griezmann, who moved to Camp Nou from Atletico Madrid for €120million in July.
12 months earlier, the LaLiga champions almost secured his services but the forward ultimately chose to spend a fifth season at Atletico.
As was to be expected, that decision was said to have upset Barca’s senior players, including Lionel Messi, who reportedly favoured the return of former team-mate Neymar.
“The dressing room did not reject our signing Griezmann,” Bartomeu told Barca TV.
“The players don’t give their opinions on signings, it is the technical team who decide.”
Barcelona went on to increase their interest in Neymar after capturing Griezmann but were unable to come to terms with Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window closed on September 2.
One other Barcelona target, Matthijs de Ligt, opted to join Juventus, yet Bartomeu insists head coach Valverde has the tools at his disposal to forge a highly successful campaign.
“This squad is more competitive than last season’s,” he said.
“It’s a small squad, but very competitive. Ernesto Valverde accepts the level of demand and I am expecting a lot from this season.
“De Ligt was one of our targets, but he decided not to come to Barca.”