Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has given his information on whether Manchester United are interested in signing Antoine Griezmann, who is at the centre of a transfer tussle between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Griezmann played for Atleti between 2014 and 2019, before joining La Liga rivals Barcelona in a big-money deal. According to BBC Sport, he moved to Camp Nou in a £107million (€120m) deal and signed a five-year contract with a £717m (€800m) release clause.
The forward struggled to replicate his Atleti form with Barcelona. He did register 15 goals in all competitions during his first season, but he still came in for criticism from pundits and fans alike.
Things got better for Griezmann in his second campaign. He notched 20 goals and 13 assists, helping Barca finish third in La Liga and win the Copa del Rey. They beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the final, with Griezmann getting among the goals.
Barca began to get into financial trouble though and this led to them making the Frenchman available for transfer last summer. He subsequently returned to Atleti on a two-year loan.
Diego Simeone’s side have the obligation to make the transfer permanent next summer for a reported £34m (€40m). However, they are taking steps to bring this cost down.
Simeone has been bringing Griezmann on in the last half an hour of matches. This is so Atleti don’t have to pay Griezmann’s full £34m fee, which comes into effect when he plays half of all games during his loan spell. The attacker is getting frustrated at not being able to start games, but the decision is ultimately larger than his manager.
Barca are aware of Atleti’s clever, if sneaky, strategy. And the two clubs have recently begun discussions over a discount for Atleti.
Barca lessen Antoine Griezmann cost
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Barca have agreed to accept £22m for Griezmann and waved away the previous clause.
Now Atleti have seemingly solved the game time problem, Griezmann can start matches. He played a full 90 minutes in the recent loss to Real Madrid.
Amid all the talk surrounding Atleti and Barca, Manchester United reportedly hold an interest in landing Griezmann.
The Red Devils need a new talisman up front in case Cristiano Ronaldo opts to leave. It has been widely reported that his desire is to play in the Champions League once again.
United have failed to sign the likes of Brian Brobbey, Marko Arnautovic and Alvaro Morata. Due to this, they are supposedly looking into a deal for Griezmann.
However, Romano has quashed these links. During an interview with CaughtOffside, the journalist said: “I’m aware of speculation that Manchester United enquired about Antoine Griezmann in the summer, but my understanding is there’s not a lot to it.
Romano discusses Griezmann future
“At the moment, the situation is still not clear between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona for Griezmann so there’s still nothing happening with other clubs as of now. Griezmann is 100% focused on Atletico Madrid.”
Griezmann would be a great signing for United given his goalscoring record with Atleti. He has found the net 144 times in 301 outings for the Rojiblancos. Plus, he has won the Europa League and World Cup during a great career.
However, it seems United will not be going anywhere near the 31-year-old in next year’s transfer windows. There will undoubtedly be many more transfer links with strikers before a Ronaldo successor is found.