Barcelona ‘want to keep Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho’ and will only consider ‘irresistible’ offers for the pair as the Nou Camp club mutes suggestions they will be sold to fund Lionel Messi’s new deal
- Reports had suggested Griezmann and Coutinho would be sold by Barcelona
- Nou Camp club faces prospect of handing over star names to pay for Messi deal
- Argentina verbally agreed on a new five-year contract for £250,000 a week
- But now it looks like both Griezmann and Coutinho will stay at Barcelona
- Coach Ronald Koeman has plans for both players next season
Barcelona ‘does not intend to sell Antoine Griezmann or Philippe Coutinho this summer’ unless a truly exceptional offer comes in.
There had been suggestions that the French forward or the Brazilian playmaker – or both – would be fired to fund Lionel Messi’s contract extension.
But Sports world report that Barcelona have not put either Griezmann or Coutinho on the transfer list and manager Ronald Koeman plans to keep both in his roster for next season.
Barcelona are reportedly set to keep Antoine Griezmann (left) and Philippe Coutinho (right) this summer, despite speculation they would be sold to raise funds
There was talk of Barcelona having to sell players to pay for Lionel Messi’s new contract
Saturday’s Mundo Deportivo leads on the news that Griezmann will stay at Barcelona
The Barcelona-based newspaper says the only circumstances in which the Nou Camp club would consider selling them are if an irresistible offer comes before the window closes.
However, given a number of potential European suitors facing financial constraints, this is considered unlikely.
There has been speculation that Griezmann could return to Atletico Madrid in a swap deal for midfielder Saul Niguez, but it is unlikely to materialize.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Juventus have also been linked with the French striker, who has a contract with Barcelona until 2024, but no formal offers have been received.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has plans for both Coutinho and Griezmann this season
Coutinho is close to coming back from the knee injury that has left him sidelined since December
Koeman was pleased with Griezmann’s attitude and application during pre-season, especially when he noted how he conceded a penalty to allow Memphis Depay to score on the debut in last week’s friendly 3-1 win over Girona.
Griezmann hopes to be on target when Barcelona face VFB Stuttgart in a friendly on Saturday, with further pre-season games against Red Bull Salzburg and Juventus ahead.
Coutinho, meanwhile, is returning to full fitness after suffering a meniscus injury to his left knee last December, which forced him to miss the second half of the season.
Griezmann impressed Koeman with his attitude during the preparation for the season in Germany
Koeman’s Barcelona will play their last preseason friendly against Stuttgart on Saturday
Koeman believes the 29-year-old Brazilian can rediscover the form that made him one of the most expensive players in world football when Barcelona paid Liverpool £105 million to sign him in 2018.
Argentine star Messi has verbally agreed to a five-year contract extension for £250,000 a week, which would tie him to Barcelona until the age of 39.