Lionel Messi urges Barcelona to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid

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Griezmann, 27, is still to decide whether to join Barca in a €100 million move or remain at Atletico, with the France worldwide saying he expects to make a final decision ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Griezmann would be able to fill a number of different roles for Barcelona, as he's operated at the point of the attack, as a support striker and occasionally in advanced wide positions for Atletico.

"He is an exceptional player and if he was to come back to us it would be fantastic but it looks hard".

'He's a great player and we would understand each other, ' Messi said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

Upfront, Lionel Messi is deployed as the support striker, meaning Griezmann could likely be played on the right before he eventually replaces Suarez when he moves on after a few years.

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Griezmann is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, having been a pivotal figure for club and country for several years.

"If he came, then the coach will already know how everything fits".

The midfielder's representatives look set to meet with Arsenal officials this week.

Atletico too have been buoyed by the news and have a new deal lined up to offer to Griezmann very soon.

"The truth is that wouldn't please me at all", said Messi of the prospect of meeting his former teammate in Madrid's all-white shirt.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.

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