Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Griezmann not on table for Barca as Bartomeu refuses to rule out De Ligt

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 16 Apr 2019

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is not in the club’s plans, though he refused to rule out a move for Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt.

Griezmann was linked with Barca prior to the 2018 World Cup before committing his future to Atletico, however, speculation of a Camp Nou switch has resurfaced.

However, LaLiga champions Barca are not looking to sign the 28-year-old – who is contracted until 2023 – according to Bartomeu.

“[Griezmann] is an Atletico Madrid player and he has a contract [with them],” the Barcelona president told TVE.

“I like that the great players are in Spain because he gives value to LaLiga Santander [which helps], for example, to get sponsors.

“If Griezmann wanted to come, he would have to talk to the coaches, but his name is not on the table.

“There is a lot of speculation in the press, but Griezmann is not on the table and he has not called Barcelona.”

One player on Barca’s radar is Ajax and Netherlands centre-back De Ligt, who continues to attract interest from Europe’s biggest clubs.

Barca have already agreed to sign Ajax star Frenkie de Jong – who will join next season – and Bartomeu’s club are reportedly ready to raid the Dutch giants again for De Ligt.

“The signing of De Jong we wanted to do in the summer, but there was a lot of pressure, other teams wanted him and we advanced it,” Bartomeu said.

“With Ajax there is a very good relationship. With De Ligt, I do not know what will happen. It seems he will be on the market and when we talk to the coaches we will see if we’re in for him or not.

“His way of playing fits us and I like it. Ajax are a training club that sells, but we have not had talks.”

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