Everyone knows Manchester United are keen on signing Antoine Griezmann. The Red Devils were close to nailing the signature of the Frenchman last summer but for CAS upholding the transfer ban FIFA slammed on Atletico Madrid, ending that dream – albeit temporarily.
Griezmann has been in poor form for Atletico Madrid this season and this led to him being booed during and after the 0-0 draw with Real Madrid on Saturday. After the match, manager Diego Simeone, who himself has been linked with a move away from Atleti, hinted at the possible departure of the French star in the summer.
And according to Guillem Balague, the former Real Sociedad player could be on his way out of Atletico Madrid in the summer. But aside from Manchester United, Balague reckons the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain could all be in the running for his signature:
“[Simeone] was talking, of course, about Griezmann, who had been booed by the fans when replaced because they are fed up with him being so open about leaving in certain interviews.
“In the summer he said there was a 6/10 possibility that he would go to Manchester United, things that were unnecessary because the club were always going to give him an increase in his wages. And he now earns €12m a year and there was an increase in his buyout clause which is €200m until July 1, but will then revert back to €100m.
“There was no need to flirt with anybody, but he still did that and so there are players in the dressing room who are doubting his commitment.
“The club, I know, feel that he will leave in the summer, with United and Barcelona favourites to sign him, while Real may consider him too.
“Having said no to a huge offer from United after he had spoken to Jose Mourinho, he will now consider those possibilities. PSG, meanwhile, will need to sell first, but they have also made some enquiries about his interest in joining them.
“Nothing has been signed at the moment with anybody, I’m told, but the club feel he will leave.”
I firmly believe no club will pay more than Griezmann’s release clause. I believe what we will see is clubs that trigger his release clause being allowed to negotiate with the player. If that’s the case, Griezmann will be allowed to go to the club of his choice.
This is where it gets interesting for Manchester United. The Red Devils obviously have the money to offer Griezmann the sort of wages the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona are likely to offer him, and having himself confirmed in the past that he would like to play in the same team with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Manchester United may have the edge in the race for his signature.
Another plus for the Old Trafford outfit is that having played for Atletico Madrid, Griezmann may not want to annoy his fans by crossing over to rivals Real Madrid, whilst Barcelona reportedly only see him as a backup option to Philippe Coutinho – they will only consider signing him if they fail to land the Brazilian from Liverpool.