Griezmann wants No.7 shirt at Barcelona amid speculation over future

The Spanish forward has suggested a change in shirt number could keep him happy at Camp Nou after a difficult start to life in Catalonia

Antoine Griezmann has suggested he sees his long-term future at Barcelona after saying he wants to claim the number seven shirt.

The France star has endured a difficult first season at Camp Nou since joining for €120 million (£107m/$133m) from Atletico Madrid last year, scoring only eight times in 26 La Liga appearances.

Eric Olhats, the scout who helped to discover Griezmann as a youngster, claimed in an interview with Mundo Deportivo last week that the player “isn’t enjoying it” at Barca and is not being helped by the way the team plays.

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With Barca expected to try to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter and once more plot a return for Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain in the next transfer window, it has been rumoured Griezmann could be sold to free up additional funds.

However, Griezmann appears to be focused on playing for Barca for at least another season once Spanish football resumes from suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Indeed, the 29-year-old seems to have his heart set on claiming the shirt number presently held by Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich and is expected to be sold by Barca later this year.

While speaking to fans on Twitch during an eSports contest, Griezmann admitted that he would like to get back the shirt that he wore while playing for Atletico.

“I would like to recover the seven,” he said.

For the time being, Griezmann is simply waiting to learn when he will be able to return to Barca training with his team-mates, with Spain still in a strict lockdown as confirmed coronavirus cases have passed the 80,000 mark.

“Quarantine is going okay, but you can’t do anything,” he said of his spell in self-isolation.

“I miss football enormously. I have no idea when the competition will be back; I don’t know when I will go back to training.”

Barca sit top of the La Liga standings after 27 fixtures, two ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid as they bid to secure a third successive title.

Quique Setien’s men are also on the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals, after earning a 1-1 draw away at Napoli in the first leg of their last 16 tie on February 25.

It is not yet known if, or when the current campaign will resume, but UEFA have prioritised the completion of the club football schedule by postponing Euro 2020 for a full year.

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