An outrageous claim in Diario Gol has seen Lionel Messi reported to have told Barcelona to sell new signing Ousmane Dembele and replace him with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.
Dembele arrived at the Camp Nou last summer as a direct replacement for Brazilian Neymar, who departed for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain.
The former Borussia Dortmund man has failed to make an impact though, suffering two similar injuries which have seen him miss most of the current season.
Philippe Coutinho’s arrival in the January transfer window is expected to see him miss further action, even when he returns to full fitness, whilst Andres Iniesta’s resurgence in form has left Ernesto Valverde with plenty of options.
One player linked with a summer move to the Catalan capital is Griezmann, who is expected to leave Atleti this summer.
The report claims that Messi wants officials at the club to sell Dembele and replace him with his international team-mate, something he is claimed to have suggested last summer.
Barca were forced to make a statement regarding Griezmann earlier in January after claims that an agreement was already made between all parties.
Should Griezmann arrive and Dembele stay; Barca would possess a frightening forward line of Luis Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Griezmann and Coutinho.