What's the story?
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted that the club are planning for a post-Messi era with the transfer of Antoine Griezmann this summer, but refused to talk about the re-signing of Neymar Jr from Paris Saint-Germain.
In case you didn't know...
With Lionel Messi now 32, the Blaugrana are well-aware of the duration of their time with their talisman and are taking steps to procure the best players to ease the transition when he decides to hang up his boots.
The Argentine maestro has however, shown no signs of slowing down, having concluded a scintillating individual campaign that saw him lead the Catalan giants to another LaLiga title. In the process, he netted 36 league goals and earned himself a Pichichi trophy and the European Golden Shoe.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner tallied 51 goals in all competitions as he guided the Blaugrana to the semi-finals of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey finals the last term.
Griezmann is one of the players who has been bought as part of the project, having recently completed a €120 million transfer to Camp Nou. There have also been reports suggesting Barcelona may be looking to further bolster their squad with the re-signing of Neymar, who has already hinted his desire to return.
The heart of the matter
In an interview with Radio Montecarlo, Bartomeu admitted that Griezmann's signing is part of a bigger plan at the club and expressed his delight at signing 'one of the best players in the world.'.
He said: (via Sport English)
"Griezmann is one of the best five or six players in the world. The opportunity to sign him presented itself and we didn't have any doubts. We need to think about the post-Messi era and create a future with the best players available."
When asked about the possibility of Neymar's return, the club president replied:
"I read the newspapers in the summer and they say a lot of things. The only thing that is clear here is Neymar is a PSG player and we have a lot of respect for PSG. In this case, there isn't much to say."
Barcelona are scheduled to take on Arsenal in a clash for the Joan Gamper Trophy on August 4.Published 28 Jul 2019, 10:50 IST