By 90Min
September 07, 2019

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has rejected claims that Barcelona's players did not want the club to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer.

The French attacker has started well since arriving, scoring twice and providing an assist in his first three La Liga games. He joined the Catalan giants in July for €120m, following a lengthy transfer saga that saw him almost arrive a year earlier - only for the player to eventually opt to stay at Atletico for a further season.

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The circumstances surrounding the move led to reports that adding Griezmann to the side was against the wishes of a number of senior Barcelona players, including Lionel Messi, who was seemingly in favour of the club pushing through a move to re-sign Neymar.

However, Bartomeu has denied that this was the case, and stated that the players do not influence the club's transfer policy.

"The dressing room did not reject us signing Griezmann, The players don't give their opinions on signings, it is the technical team who decide," he told Barca TV, as quoted by AS.

Reflecting on Barcelona's other business over the summer, Bartomeu admitted that the club were interested in signing Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, but it was the player who chose to join Serie A champions Juventus instead.

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"De Ligt was one of our targets, but he decided not to come to Barca," he added.

Despite missing out on the 20-year-old, Bartomeu feels that the current squad is stronger than last season, and he expects the club to be able to compete once more.

"This squad is more competitive than last season's," he added. "It's a small squad, but very competitive. Ernesto Valverde accepts the level of demand and I am expecting a lot from this season." 

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