Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has revealed he attempted to sign Antoine Griezmann for Valencia in 2011.
Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann was linked with a move to the Parc des Princes in the previous transfer window after scoring 22 goals for the second successive LaLiga season.
No move materialised, but Emery was aware of the rumours. In fact, the coach admitted he tried to sign the Frenchman during his four-year stint at Mestalla between 2008 and 2012.
“When I arrived here [PSG], I saw many names circulating – and names of major players. But the most important is the players who are here,” Emery told RMC Sport.
“I know Griezmann but I never talked to him. He is a very good player. Five years ago, when I was the coach of Valencia and he was at Real Sociedad, I told my president to sign him.
“But it didn’t happen. Now, he said he is very happy at Atletico Madrid.”
Reports linking Griezmann to PSG intensified following the announcement that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be leaving the club at the end of the 2015-16 season.
PSG did not sign a direct replacement, but Emery is confident Edinson Cavani can step up, with new signing Jese Rodriguez and youngster Jean-Kevin Augustin providing sufficient cover.
“I have no doubt about him [Cavani]. I go to the supermarket every day, I buy a lot of confidence and I give it to the players,” he added.
“Cavani started rushing a bit. I told him to be calmer. He is 29 years old – this is a good year for a player.
“I asked him to create chances, which he has done, and later he will score. There are days when he will be worse, but he will eventually be decisive. He likes the responsibility.
“It’s important to give confidence to Cavani, and it’s hard to sign a very important player who is going to compete with him.
“Jese has played as a striker, he is versatile, as is Augustin, a young player who is ready to play and will progress.”
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