Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has indicated that he would like the club to sign Antoine Griezmann, as he believes that the Atletico Madrid striker can help the Blaugrana back to the pinnacle of European football.
Griezmann is widely expected to join Barcelona this summer, having said that he will make a decision on his future before France begin their World Cup campaign next Saturday.
Although Messi denied knowing anything about ongoing negotiations, his overwhelmingly positive response to questions about the Frenchman hints that a move could be in the works.
“I don’t know if he’s a priority,” Messi told Spanish newspaper Sport, quoted by Sky Sports News.
“I’m in agreement that to get back to winning the Champions League we have to have the best players. And Griezmann is one of them.”
Griezmann’s release clause in his Atletico contract will halve from €200m to €100m on the first day of July, opening the door for the 27-year-old to join Barca.
“If the club sign him, brilliant,” added Messi.
“I don’t know if he’s the priority. It depends on the technical secretary and coach.
“I’m just saying that to win the Champions League you need to have the best. And he is very good!”
Barcelona have dominated Spanish football recently, winning three of the last four La Liga titles and four consecutive Copas del Rey.
However, Real Madrid have ruled the roost in the Champions League, winning four of the last five competitions, and Messi admitted that he wanted to help Barcelona end their rivals’ streak.
“The truth is we would like to have won more Champions Leagues, above all in the last three years,” he said.
Griezmann and the French squad flew to Russia this afternoon to begin their World Cup preparations ahead of their opening match against Australia.