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Ronald Koeman concentrates on Griezmann after Lionel Messi plans to leave Barcelona

Ronald Koeman is preparing to build the Barcelona team around Antoine Griezmann.

Quique Setien in charge of Camp Nou was replaced by the Koeman and earlier this month the Dutch manager suffered a turbulent start to his reign, most prominently with captain and talisman Lionel Messi handing in a transfer request on Tuesday.

Initially, Koeman had intended to make Messi the core figure of his new Barcelona look, having already agreed to unload a number of other high-profile aging players such as Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, and Arturo Vidal.

However, L’Equipe reports, Griezmann was told by the former Everton, Southampton, and Dutch manager that he will now concentrate on rebuilding around him.

Griezmann suffered a disappointing debut with the Catalan outfit after he joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid last summer in a deal of €120 m ( £ 108 m), as Barca lost their La Liga title and were knocked out early in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

During the season, the 29-year-old completed the full 90 minutes only 19 times in all competitions, scoring 15 goals and creating four more in 48 games.

Nevertheless, Koeman aims to use Griezmann in a similar free position to that in which he excelled with Atletico Madrid, and has also given his favorite number seven shirt to France international – previously worn by Philippe Coutinho.

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