Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann has consistently been touted for a move to the Premier League with reports suggesting Manchester United are leading the chase for his signature.
And given the Rojiblancos have recently opened the chequebook to sign a highly coveted striker from the French Ligue 1, are Atletico planning for Griezmann’s exit?
Lacazette in, Griezmann out?
Atletico Madrid have reportedly agreed terms with Olympique Lyonnais for striker Alexandre Lacazette, a player who has long been linked with the top European sides as a result of his prolific record at the Parc OL. Lacazette’s asking price was reportedly around £70M this summer, but Atletico wouldn’t make such an outlay without guarantee of getting the money back. Griezmann’s valuation is around £85M, so any move would see the Spanish La Liga side making a giant profit on his sale.
Manchester United have been linked with the centre-forward all season as manager Jose Mourinho believes his goal-record at the top level is just what the Red Devils need to challenge for the Premier League title in 2017/18. Griezmann also boasts excessive pace, making him deadly on the counter attack, a style of play Mourinho often adopts in big games. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s one-year deal having come to an end at Old Trafford, United are pursuing another top-level striker – Anthony Martial has struggled through the middle, Wayne Rooney is expect to leave in the summer and Marcus Rashford isn’t deemed mature enough to be a first-team regular.
Griezmann’s asking price is easily matched by a United side who spent a world-record fee to sign former Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba last summer. And if they can seal Champions League football by winning in the Europa League final against Ajax, they will have a number of players open to a move. Negotiations with Griezmann could be made easier given he has international teammates at Old Trafford who have been vocal about their desire to play alongside him.
Man Utd’s French contingent could tempt him to make the switch
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is believed to be one of Griezmann’s best friends and has a fantastic relationship with the Atletico man. “I always have good times when I’m with Grizou. He’s my brother, we’re always together. I’m very proud of him,” said Pogba earlier this year. Griezmann even admitted earlier this campaign that he would love to play with Pogba at club-level.
“I always ask Paul Pogba about Manchester United. I think they are a huge club with a really good infrastructure. I ask Paul about some of the players, and if they’re really that good, or if Jose Mourinho is really that good. You hear a lot of (transfer speculation) about Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain but right now I don’t see me moving to a new club. But it would be awesome to play alongside Paul one day,” said Griezmann in November.
It’s worth noting that the French striker is a childhood Manchester United supporter. Atletico have made their move to sign a prolific French striker, but will they be letting another one go this summer? Antoine Griezmann is 1/2 to join Manchester United this summer.
Are Atletico prepping for his exit?
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