Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann: I need time to adapt

BARCELONA -- Antoine Griezmann has said he still needs more time to adapt to Barcelona following his €120 million summer transfer from Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann, 28, has scored three goals in eight appearances this season but said he is yet to find his best form. Manager Ernesto Valverde has called for him to be "more involved" in games.

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Despite that, until being withdrawn in the second half of Saturday's win at Getafe, he had played every minute of the campaign so far, largely thanks to injuries to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

"[I just need] time," he said in a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game against Inter Milan. "I feel comfortable but I still need to improve on the pitch, above all in terms of my movement.

"I am doing well with the ball, but sometimes I could get more involved. There are also things I can improve when playing wide. I have just arrived at a club with a different philosophy and I am playing in another position on the pitch. I have to learn, improve, change my movements.

"I can't be at 100% after two months. But, like I say, I feel good and confident. I'm still lacking a few things to be the best possible Griezmann. I am on the right path."

A calf injury and more recently a thigh problem has denied Griezmann the chance to strike up a connection with Messi on the pitch.

They have started just once together -- Messi set up a Griezmann goal against Villarreal before getting injured -- and the fact neither are big talkers means it has been difficult for the two to make a connection so far.

"[Messi is] not someone who speaks a lot and neither am I, so it has been difficult to get to know each other," Griezmann added. "But I have already given him some mate [a popular South American drink] so we are heading in the right direction.

"He has spent a lot of time injured, so we have not been able to work on things in training or on the pitch."

Barca face Inter at Camp Nou amid escalating tension between the players and the board.

Defender Gerard Pique suggested the board are feeding local media stories about the players on Saturday, appearing to complain about an article in Mundo Deportivo which claimed the players have too much power at the club.

Griezmann said the dynamic at Barca is no different to Atletico, where "[Diego] Godin and Gabi also had power," while Valverde has called on the club to stick together.

"It is in our interest to focus on what's in front of us, which is a lot," Valverde said in a news conference on Tuesday.

"There are huge demands [at this club], both in La Liga and in the Champions League. Knowing that there is always a lot of controversy around this club, we all have to try and follow the same path, even if people have different opinions. The controversy has to come from outside, not inside."

Barca are without the injured trio of Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti and Ansu Fati, but Messi and Dembele could both return from recent knocks.

The duo missed the Getafe game with thigh problems but have been included in Valverde's 20-man squad for Inter's visit. Two players will be cut before kick off, with the coach saying he will not take unnecessary risks with his players' fitness.

Messi's thigh injury is unrelated to the calf problem which saw him miss the first four games of the season.

Meanwhile, Inter manager Antonio Conte has said forward Romelu Lukaku will miss the clash with Barca due to injury.