Ernesto Valverde tells Barcelona fans ‘ignore Antoine Griezmann’

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has called on his fans of his side not to whistle Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann on Saturday night.

The Frenchman rejected a move to the Catalan giants last summer in favour of penning a new long-term contract at Los Rojiblancos, and travels to the Camp Nou for the first time since that episode.

“I don’t want our fans to focus on opposition players with whistles, I want them to support our team,” Valverde told reporters, as cited by El Mundo Deportivo.

“I do not like it when players are whistled or abused at a match, supporters should be there to support their team and not anything else.

“Our line-up? Ousmane Dembele is still injured, he is not available. But we will not be influenced by the game against Manchester United on Wednesday.”

A report in El Mundo Deportivo last week outlined how Griezmann’s ‘proven quality and fixed price of €120m’ – relating to the forward’s release clause – is why the Blaugrana are interested in a summer deal.

The Frenchman does have a release clause in his new contract, that drops from €200m to €120m at the end of the current season, and that may tempt the current La Liga leaders to return with a second bid.

Griezmann has netted 19 goals this campaign for Diego Simeone’s side.

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