Samuel Umtiti: Antoine Griezmann Could Be 'Happy and Successful' at Barcelona

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

CHISINAU, MOLDOVA - MARCH 22:  Antoine Griezmann of France reacts during the 2020 UEFA European Championships Group H qualifying match between Moldova and France at Zimbru Stadium on March 22, 2019 in Chisinau, Moldova.  (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)
Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti said France team-mate Antoine Griezmann could be "happy and successful" at the Camp Nou amid fresh rumours linking him with Barca.

According to L'Equipe's Francois Verdenet (h/t TalkSport), the Catalan giants have reopened talks with Atletico Madrid regarding Griezmann after coming close to signing him last summer, before he opted to sign a new contract at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Umtiti told Telefoot (h/t Goal's Nick Howson):

"I know Antoine is very happy in Madrid, it's going well for him, it's a team that plays for him, and after that, in a career there are choices that we can take and that we can regret.

"But I know he feels good there. He could play in any club around the world because of his qualities, whether in Barcelona or elsewhere, and be happy and successful."

On Friday, Umtiti and Griezmann, who won the FIFA World Cup with Les Bleus last summer, helped France record a 4-1 win over Moldova.

The latter lashed home a volley to open the scoring before supplying the corner for Raphael Varane to make it 2-0:

Optus Sport @OptusSport

World Champions. #EURO2020 contenders? Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann run the show in France’s demolition of Moldova. #OptusSport https://t.co/BPdG2fStsd

Griezmann's strike moved him up the standings in France's goalscoring charts:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Antoine Griezmann has now scored as many goals for France as Karim Benzema (27). Joint-tenth top scorers for the men’s national team. 🇫🇷 https://t.co/pnC2aWxlj1

Since joining Atletico in 2014, he has scored at least 25 goals in all competitions each season for his club, taking his tally to 130 in 248 matches. This season, he has 18 goals and eight assists to his name.

At a club like Barcelona, who are much more forward-thinking than Diego Simeone's Atleti, he could be even more prolific.

Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez isn't sure Barca should pursue him after he turned down the club last year, though:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Imagine Barcelona trying to sign Griezmann again after he publicly made a show out of him staying at Atlético, humiliating the Barcelona hierarchy months after having a widely reported and known verbal agreement. Madness.

Luis Suarez is now 32, so Barcelona could do with investing in a younger striker who can lead the line in the years to come.

Griezmann turned 28 on Thursday, so he wouldn't be an especially long-term choice, but he's a ready-made successor and a proven talent on the biggest stage.