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Griezmann gets strong message in showdown talks with Barcelona

Barca have given a strong message to forward Antoine Griezmann that he will remain a vital part of the team next season, according to a report.

The French forward started his stint at Barca with an underwhelming debut season in after his move from Atletico Madrid but in the aftermath of the pandemic lockdown have had a bit of a tough time struggling to maintain his form for various reasons. Indeed, reports even emerged claiming that Barca, who need to raise funds this summer, could sell the striker.

Speculation over Griezmann’s future ran rampant especially after the recent 2-2 draw with Athletico Madrid, after Quique Setien only brought the forward on with a minute to go against his former side, despite the match being level then at 2-2.

However, according to L ‘Equipe, Barcelona “swept away” any doubts over his future in talks on Tuesday. Griezmann was flanked by his representatives and faced Barca’s top officials.

The newspaper says sporting director Eric Abidal said to Griezmann: “We count a lot on you.”

The talks came after Griezmann’s family members hit out at the club’s lamentable treatment of the 29-year-old. Following the draw with Atletico, his brother Theo said he “felt like crying”.

His father, meanwhile said: “In order to apologise you first need the the keys of the lorry and that is not the case, because he is simply a passenger.”

Griezmann and the team responded emphatically to the 2-2 draw with Atletico by handing Villarreal a massive 4-1 thumping last weekend, where Griezmann played up top with Luis Suarez, scoring a fantastic chipped goal, with boss Setien expressing his delight at his side’s comeback performance.

“I felt truly satisfied with the performance and I’m sure the players did too because they played a great game and enjoyed themselves,’ Setien said (via the Daily Mail.

“I would like to play like this in every game but it’s not an exact science. Every game is different but today we did everything right.”

However, the result did nothing to close the gap between Barca and Real Madrid, which remains four points. Barcelona’s next two games see them face Espanyol and Valladolid. The club’s final home game of the season comes against Osasuna, before a trip to Alaves ends the campaign.