Koeman Offers Griezmann Bigger Role And Gives Him New Shirt Number

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman offered Antoine Griezmann a bigger role before Lionel Messi dropped his transfer bombshell, according to reports.

The 29-year-old has failed to replicated his top form following his £107.6million move from Atletico Madrid last summer.

But Koeman has blamed previous management for playing the France star out position and wants to make Griezmann the focal point of his new team.

On top of that, the Dutch chief wants to give him the No7 shirt, last worn by Philippe Coutinho – who wants a move to the Premier League this summer.

Last week, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu listed Griezmann on his seven-strong “untouchables” list.

And L'Equipe claim the Frenchman will now be “central” to the Barcelona team.

Koeman is said to have told Griezmann of his plans for 2020-21 shortly before Messi announced he wanted to quit the club.

Last week, Koeman had already claimed Barcelona failed to get the best out of the 2018 World Cup winner after playing him horribly out of position.

And Koeman's latest revelation is thought to have played a role in Messi seeing his future elsewhere.

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After nearly two decades of being the main man at Barcelona, the Argentine is finally set to quit in a major summer overhaul – with Luis Suarez another star name set for the axe, allowing Griezmann to play centrally.

This article was most recently revised and updated 6 months ago