Lionel Messi: 'Barcelona need Antoine Griezmann for Champions League'

Didier Deschamps France USA

Lionel Messi has reiterated his desire for Barcelona to spend big to land Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, insisting that his side's Champions League hopes may depend on it.

The forward has been expected to confirm his future before the World Cup and said Saturday that was still the case.

"It is good that you are following [the situation]", Griezmann told reporters after the 1-1 draw.

"There's a week to go". I don't know if he's the priority.

Griezmann is contracted at Atletico - the club he joined in 2014 - until 2022, but Barcelona are reportedly prepared to trigger his €100million release clause.

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Barca's public pursuit of Griezmann has angered Atletico, who reported them to Federation Internationale de Football Association in December for making an illegal approach for the player and followed up with a statement in May telling Barca "enough is enough".

Much like Antoine Griezmann, who Los Rojiblancos have asked to help persuade Lemar while with his compatriot in Russian Federation, the Monaco player must sort out his plans before Les Bleus face Australia on June 16 or wait until after the tournament.

While Antoine Griezmann plays cat and mouse regarding his future, saying he will make an announcement this week, France coach Didier Deschamps added some humour to proceedings. If the club sign him, brilliant.

Deschamps prohibits players from undergoing negotiations during tournaments, which provides a further reason to believe that Griezmann's future will be public knowledge before France begin the competition.

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