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Reasons why Lionel Messi blocks major Barcelona transfer after £142m Philippe Coutinho deal

LIONEL MESSI has reportedly told Barcelona to shelve plans to sign Antoine Griezmann following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona have loosened their purse strings this month, splashing £142million on Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

The Brazil international is now the Catalan club’s record signing – surpassing Ousmane Dembele who joined last summer from Borussia Dortmund for £135m.

Barca reportedly already have their next big-money signing in the pipeline and are looking to bring in Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

However, Spanish outlet Don Balon claim Lionel Messi is not keen on the deal and has urged the club to shelve plans for his arriva

The report says Messi thinks Griezmann’s signing would be unnecessary and would cause disharmony among Barca’s attacking ranks.

The 30-year-old has reportedly voiced his concerns to the club and recommended they invest in other areas of the squad.

Javier Mascherano’s days at the Nou Camp are numbered after he vacated his No 14 shirt for Coutinho this week.

He is set for a move to Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune, meaning Barca’s money could be better spent shoring up their defence.

Besides Barcelona, Griezmann has also been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks.

However, La Liga football expert Guillem Balague has claimed the Red Devils are no longer interested and a move to the Nou Camp looks inevitable.

“Griezmann, they sent a message to his people that they’re not interested anymore,” he told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast.

“They weren’t that interested anyway… I think Barcelona will sign him.”

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