Manchester United transfer rumour: Atletico Madrid have convinced Antoine Griezmann to stay next season
Antoine Griezmann to stay at Atletico Madrid ending Mourinho's hopes of signing the Frenchman.
What’s the story?
Manchester United will have to look to other forward options this summer with the feeling that Atletico Madrid may have convinced their French striker Antoine Griezmann to stay in the Spain next season. The Premier League club has been after Greizmann for quite a while now and the French international had been the Old Trafford club’s number one target as the player to join in 2017. However, United have a feeling that their priority target could be holding out for a move to Real Madrid.
The Atletico striker said in an interview a few months ago “I’m feeling good at Atletico Madrid. Frankly, I don't see myself leaving. People often talk about England, but I'm here. And then, going from Atletico to Real, it must be difficult. I do not necessarily want to try. I don't think about it.” Griezmann is still under contract with Atletico Madrid until the summer of 2021, having signed a new deal that increases his buy-out clause to a €100 million.
In case you didn’t know...
The Frenchman is easily one of football hottest strikers in Europe. Over the last four seasons, Griezmann has 20+ goals in all competitions, 20 in the 2013/2014 season, 25 in the 2014/2015 season, 32 at the end of last season and finally 20 goals so far this season!!
The heart of the story...
Griezmann has been on Mourinho’s radar. However, extracting Griezmann from the clutches of Atletico Madrid will be much harder than it looks especially given the transfer ban imposed on the Spanish club.
Mourinho may be forced to pay the massive buy-out clause if they want the striker, a process much more complicated than having a bid accepted. However, there is an underlying feeling that the 25-year-old may be holding out for a switch to cross-town rivals, Real Madrid.
His performance certainly warrants a massive transfer fee, but for a variety of reasons, United have downgraded Antoine Griezmann on their shortlist. The Old Trafford club is rumoured to have made either Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and even Andrea Belotti their main target now.
However given that Zlatan Ibrahimovic future is still uncertain as he ponders his second season in England and Wayne Rooney expected to leave, Mourinho will be hard pressed to find replacements for either player.
Griezmann himself admitted that he had doubts about his future during the summer but the Frenchman still stayed for another remarkable season helping Atletico Madrid place fourth in the league and hopefully another Champions League final. The 25-year-old could be well on his way out of Vicente Calderon Stadium in the future but for the time being, he seems set to remain with the Spanish Club, who are hell bent on keeping him at the club.
A goalscorer of Antoine Griezmann’s quality – with nearly a 100 goals in four seasons, would an incredible asset to any club he joins, including Real Madrid, though it stands to see if the Frenchman would be prepared to sour his legacy with Atletico by moving to the Bernabeu, particularly in a direct move to their near city rivals.