​FC Barcelona icon Xavi feels the decision by ​Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann to reject the Blaugrana in 2018 hurt the Catalan club.

Griezmann was strongly linked with the Blaugrana after the 2017-18 season, but he eventually announced in a televised documentary that he made the choice to stay on at Atletico Madrid.

However, after the Catalan giants convincingly beat Atletico to become Spanish champions, the French striker confirmed his intention to leave the Madrid club after five years.

And Xavi, who won eight LaLiga titles at Barcelona hinted there may be a bad feeling at Camp Nou over Griezmann's previous saga when he rejected a move to Catalonia, which has now also led to Barcelona dressing room's leaders like ​Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique being unhappy with the club's board with their decision to continue pursuing the French superstar.

I understand it hurt what he did last summer," Xavi told yet another Spanish publicatio​n, Sport

He continued, "If the reason for the rejection [from Barça players] was only a footballing issue, I'd speak with the dressing room to make them see he's a player who can bring something."

Xavi then moved on to ask the question of whether who at Barcelona wants Griezmann, the coach or the sporting director. 

He said as he concluded, "We have to see, however, who is signing him? The sporting director? Valverde? The president? If I came to Barça I would ask for the signings, and if the dressing room doesn't agree with any of them I'd speak with them, but in the end I decide. Be it Griezmann or whoever. Another thing would be if the coach doesn't want him either. Then we have a problem."

Such is the nature of the transfer window that Barcelona are reportedly again front-runners for his signature, though head coach Ernesto Valverde has refused to discuss how Griezmann could fit into a forward line with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.