Griezmann hopes Messi stays

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Griezmann was asked about Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as France prepare for their upcoming Nations League fixtures against Sweden and Croatia.

Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann is hoping captain Lionel Messi remains at Camp Nou after sensationally handing in a transfer request.

Messi has told Barça he wants to leave the embattled LaLiga giants, having spent his entire professional career at Camp Nou, amid strong links to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

However, Messi’s father Jorge said the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is considering the possibility of seeing out the final year of his Barça contract rather than forcing a move immediately.

Griezmann focusing on France
Griezmann, who arrived from Atletico Madrid at the start of the 2019-20 season, and his relationship with Messi made headlines throughout the campaign as the former struggled for consistency and the France international was asked about the speculation ahead of Nations League fixtures against Sweden and Croatia.

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“We are trying to stay updated with the issue, but it is between him and the club,” Griezmann told M6 as France prepare for Saturday’s clash with Sweden in Stockholm.

“We only hope that he stays. I am trying to stay focused on the national team and prepare well for the next two games.

“We have heard a little of everything but we don’t know anything else about all this affair.”

New life under Koeman
Griezmann scored 15 goals across all competitions in his first season for Barça, which saw the Spanish powerhouse dethroned by Real Madrid in LaLiga and humiliated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

After replacing Ernesto Valverde in January, head coach Quique Setien was also sacked following the 8-2 embarrassment last month, with Barça turning to former defender Ronald Koeman.

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