France forward Antoine Griezmann was close to an exit from Barcelona before new manager Ronald Koeman convinced him to reconsider and make a U-turn based on a statement from the player’s ex-agent.
The Dutch manager has been meeting with Barcelona players since he was appointed and has reportedly told some players to find other clubs with Luis Suarez one of the players that were affected.
This was not the case for Griezmann who was told that he was a vital part of Koeman’s plans and Eric Olhats claims that the France international has decided to remain at the Camp Nou.
‘Before the disaster vs Bayern, Antoine wanted one thing: to leave,’ Olhats said in a chat with RMC Sport.
‘He felt like he was no longer part of the plan, that things couldn’t continue like that.
‘He was seriously looking at it. Then, there was what we know happened and a conversation with Koeman reassured him, that he was part of his plans, that he considered him as an important player for the future.’
It can be recalled that Griezmann joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid last summer after a protracted transfer saga. The Frenchman established himself playing as a second striker at Atletico Madrid and Koeman confirmed that he intends to restore the forward to his favorite position.
‘With all due respect he is not a traditional winger, so you have to play him in his own position where he is used to playing, in a role that suits him and where he can showcase his abilities,’ Koeman said about Griezmann.
‘You have to know your players as a coach and ensure you get the best out of them.’
Griezmann could remain with Barcelona but Lionel Messi wants to leave after submitting a transfer request. Barca chiefs are trying to convince the Argentine to reverse his decision but he is reportedly eager to join Manchester City.