France international Antoine Griezmann was abused by Barcelona supporters as he arrived for training on Friday morning – with one claiming it is ‘his fault’ that Lionel Messi will not be signing a new contract.
On Thursday the bombshell news broke that a deal between Messi and Barcelona had broken down, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner now set to move on to pastures new.
A statement released by the club blamed La Liga for the situation, saying: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of Spanish La Liga regulations on player registration.
“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.”
Barcelona’s perilous financial situation is the main reason behind Messi’s departure, and Griezmann was one of the players they had hoped to move on this summer in order to save wages.
But despite it initially looking as though he could make a return to his former team Atletico Madrid this never materialised, and it now appears highly unlikely they will find a buyer for the forward before the close of the transfer window.
As Griezmann pulled into Barca’s Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training ground, fans could be heard shouting and jeering in his direction.
And one yelled: “Messi has left because of you!”
All talk will now turn towards where Messi goes next, with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City believed to be the current front-runners for his signature.
It has been reported that Messi has been in direct contact with Mauricio Pochettino as PSG push to sign the player.