Wednesday, February 15, 2017


The Old Trafford outfit are keen to recruit the
25-year-old and Atletico may need to sell to
fund the move to their new stadium
Manchester United have made Antoine
Griezmann their top transfer target and will
tempt Atletico Madrid with an offer in the
region of €80 million (£68m) in the summer.
Manager Jose Mourinho is still looking to
improve his side's attack in order to compete
with the best in the Premier League and
Europe, and the Portuguese sees the 25-year-
old France forward as a player who can
provide quality across a number of positions
at Old Trafford.
Wenger reacts to Benzema rumours
Griezmann is under contract at Atletico until
2021 and has long maintained his happiness
at the Vicente Calderon, saying last year that
he would stay at the club as long as coach
Diego Simeone is in charge.
The Argentine has cut his contract by two
years to 2018 and is expected to join Inter
after leading the Rojiblancos in their first year
at their new stadium, the Wanda
Metropolitano, in 2017-18.
But the high costs involved in the construction
of that stadium mean Atletico are strapped for
cash and the Madrid club will likely look to
raise more funds in the summer through the
sale of one of their big players - possibly
Griezmann to United.
Atletico would prefer not to sell Griezmann,
who signed a new deal last June, and club
president Enrique Cerezo said recently: "I
don't know what Manchester United's interest
is. But Griezmann will be at Atletico for a long
Talk is cheap when it comes to transfers, but
it is true that Atletico (currently unable to sign
next summer due to a transfer ban) would
rather part company with another of their
players instead of losing their prized
possession - a footballer who recently stood
alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
on the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or and FIFA's
The Best prizes.

At the ceremony for The Best in January,
Griezmann was asked if he would be leaving
Atletico and said no. Nevertheless, the Old
Trafford club are working hard behind the
scenes to try and seal his signature.
When he renewed his contract last summer,
the 25-year-old's release clause was set at a
prohibitive €100m. However, if Atleti decide to
sell, they could be tempted by an offer in the
region of €80m, which would represent a
€50m profit on a player bought for €30m from
Real Sociedad in 2014.
Paul Pogba has been trying to persuade
Griezmann to join him at United and the
Atletico forward admitted in an interview in
November that he speaks regularly to his
friend and international team-mate about the
club, Jose Mourinho and also the Premier

"I always ask Pogba about Manchester
United," he said. "If some of the players are
that good. If Mourinho is that good. It's an
enormous club, a really good project. I have
heard a lot of things about United and PSG,
but at the moment I don't see myself at
another club."

But Griezmann is clearly fond of United and
admitted last year that his idol was David
Beckham. Meanwhile, his brother also
intensified speculation of a possible move
when he wrote on Twitter following Memphis
Depay's transfer to Lyon: "Sorry Memphis, I
think Old Trafford is better!"
With Wayne Rooney set to move on in the
summer, Griezmann is an interesting choice to
revitalise the attack at United, with the France
forward able to play across the front three, as
a main striker or as a number 10.
Mourinho believes Pogba could be key to
sealing his signature, but it may be more
realistic for United to wait one more season
because Griezmann is happy at Atletico right
now and not convinced he wants to
swap Spain (where he has lived since 2009)
for England. He would also want to continue
playing in the Champions League and right
now, that is not something United can
promise as they sit sixth in the Premier

Inter also hold an interest in Griezmann, but
believe he will end up moving to United.
However, Milan could interest the player if he
wants to link up again with Simeone - a
coach he admits has totally transformed his
career - in the future.
Atletico are currently in fourth in La Liga, just
a point clear of Griezmann's former club Real
Sociedad. Failure to qualify for the Champions
League could hasten his departure due to the
player's own ambition and the loss of funds
for the Rojiblancos if they miss out on
Europe's premier club competition.
Otherwise, however, both he and Simeone
could stay together for one more season and
any interested clubs - United among them -
would have to come back again in 2018.

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