Messi hopes Di Maria’s move to Atletico will help Barcelona land Griezmann

Messi hopes Di Maria’s move to Atletico will help Barcelona land Griezmann

- Barcelona are still tracking Antoine Griezmann as they are hoping to sign him at the end of this season

- Barca superstar Lionel Messi is hoping the Catalan club can sign him should Atletico sign Angel Di Maria from PSG this summer

- The Spanish champions are still looking for a perfect replacement for Neymar who joined the Parisians last year

Lionel Messi is counting on former Real Madrid attacker Angel Di Maria to help convince Antoine Griezmann to join Barcelona this summer.

The Frenchman is wanted by the Catalan club and a few other top European clubs since he has revealed that he is open to leaving his current club at the end of this season.

Though, no agreement has been reached between the two parties, the Argentine star feels the 27-year-old’s move to the Camp Nou is imminent.

According to Spanish media outlet Don Balon, Los Rojiblancos have penciled down Paris Saint Germain attacker, Di Maria as a replacement for Griezmann when he leaves.

The 30-year-old spent five seasons with Real Madrid (2010-2015) and Diego Simeone will be hoping to land him as they prepare for life without their star man.

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Di Maria has been superb for the Parisians since he joined them from Manchester United in 2015, but has struggled for starting shirt at the club due to increased competition.

Griezmann was impressive for his side in their Europa League semifinal clash against Arsenal as he scored the goal that helped them secure a draw at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg.

Before Diego Costa netted the only goal that sealed their passage to the final of the competition in the second leg of the meeting.

The Frenchman has scored 27 goals for his side this term, and in a bid to keep their man, Atletico in December reported Barca to FIFA for illegally contacting their player.

Meanwhile, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has now confirmed that he spoke with his agent as early as October last year, but insisted that his relationship with Atletico remains solid.

"I saw Griezmann one day on holiday. We met with his agent, yes. It was in October," he said.

"We talk with [Atletico president Enrique] Cerezo about many topics. We have a good relationship with them."

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Griezmann has a £88m (€100m) release clause in his contract at the Wanda Metropolitano.

He added: "It's not the moment to talk about these matters. You cannot talk about players who play at other clubs."

Griezmann has a running contract with his current club until the summer of 2022 after joining them from Real Sociedad in 2014.

He has made 141 appearances for the team and has scored 79 goals in the process with more expected from him before the end of the season.

The France international won Spanish Super Cup in 2014 shortly after joining them, and he was part of the team that led his country’s national team to finish second at the 2016 UEFA European Championship – losing to Portugal in the final.

He has scored 19 goals in 30 La Liga appearances this term and has also scored four goals in six Europa League games.

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