Antoine Griezmann Barcelona Signing Reportedly Vetoed by Dressing Room

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 12: Antoine Griezmann of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between  Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at Wanda Metropolitano on May 12, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona's players have reportedly told president Josep Maria Bartomeu they do not want Antoine Griezmann to join the club this summer.

According to Sport's Albert Masnou, the squad felt "betrayed" after Griezmann came close to signing for Barca last summer before releasing a documentary announcing his decision to remain with Atletico Madrid.

Sport noted Barca's players see Griezmann as 'fickle,' citing his comments about the blaugrana in a 2018 documentary showed a 'lack of respect' for the Spanish giants.

The Frenchman subsequently signed a five-year deal with Los Rojiblancos, but on Tuesday he announced his decision to move on this summer.

Barcelona players' rejection of Griezmann made Sport's cover, per football writer Zach Lowy:

Zach Lowy @ZachLowy

Today’s cover of SPORT: Barcelona’s dressing room says no to Griezmann! Key reasons for the rejection: 1) His decision to stay at Atlético last year left a bad impression on many players who were ready to welcome him with open arms https://t.co/MKsPRlwcXM

The squad are seemingly in agreement with supporters, who made their feelings on the Frenchman known during Atletico's visit to the Camp Nou in April, per ESPN's Samuel Marsden:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Griezmann seemingly not welcome in that corner of the ground. "Griezmann, cabron, get out of Camp Nou," sing some fans as he takes a corner.

Masnou also noted that two-thirds of the 50,000 fans who responded to a Sport poll did not want the club to sign him.

He's a signing that would come with a number of pros and cons, as football writer Ryan Baldi added:

Ryan Baldi @RyanBaldiFW

But Barça desperately need someone to ease the creative and/or scoring burden on Messi, and Griezmann does both. If Valverde (or whoever else might be in charge) can find a system that gets the best out of both, this is a game-changing move

The forward has contributed 133 goals and 50 assists in 256 appearances for Atletico Madrid. Despite being the team's chief goalscorer and biggest star, he puts in a tremendous amount of work too, covering a great deal of ground defensively.

However, Barca are more in need of a No. 9 who can be an alternative and eventual successor to Luis Suarez, who turned 32 in January.

The Barcelona players are also said to be opposed to his capture for that very reason, as they do not believe he's an addition the squad is in need of this summer.

Should the club pass on him, his record will attract plenty of interest, but his options will be somewhat limited given the resources needed to prise him away from the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and pay his wages.