Barcelona seem unable to stay away from controversy at the moment. Lionel Messi has been visibly unhappy at the club for several months now and made headlines yet again with an intriguing remark that effectively caused a storm in the Spanish media.
Several questions have been raised regarding Lionel Messi's relationship with Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann over the past few weeks. The Argentine star claimed that he was tired of the controversy and shunned the media after what was a hectic international break.
Lionel Messi is looking for a move away from Barcelona in the coming months and it will take a herculean effort by the new management to convince the club's captain to stay with the Blaugrana. The Argentine is yet to hit his peak this season and will likely seek a transfer next summer.
Ronald Koeman defended his captain in a press conference ahead of Barcelona's game against Atletico Madrid. The Barcelona manager claimed that there have been no problems between Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann in training and was not particularly happy with the media for mistreating his players.
Lionel Messi has had to deal with several accusations over the past few months and this particular controversy will serve as an ominous sign for a Barcelona side that is desperate to retain its star player. Manchester City continue to express interest in signing the Argentine and will place yet another bid for him in January.
Philippe Coutinho makes his return as Barcelona sweat over Dembele transfer situation
Ousmane Dembele has endured a rocky career at Barcelona and has not been a particular favourite of the club's management. Barcelona have tried to include the Frenchman in several swap deals over the years but are now concerned that Dembele will play out his contract and walk away on a free transfer.
Ousmane Dembele's contract expires in 2022 and the pacy winger is yet to speak to the club about an extension. Barcelona could potentially see the best of the French star this season and cannot afford to lose Dembele for a low price.
In a more positive turn of events, Philippe Coutinho has reportedly completed his recovery and is set to make a return to top-flight football against Atletico Madrid this weekend. The Brazilian midfielder has improved under Ronald Koeman and is likely to play a pivotal role on Saturday.
Barcelona are currently in eighth place in the La Liga table and will need a string of victories to turn their season around. The Catalan giants have blown hot and cold this season and will have to be at their best against Atletico Madrid this weekend.
Published 20 Nov 2020, 21:46 IST