Man Utd willing to steal show with huge attacking signing – but there’s an if

Date published: Tuesday 20th July 2021 12:45 - Samuel Bannister

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Manchester United seem receptive to the idea of signing Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona, according to reports – but only on the right terms.

Griezmann joined Barcelona in 2019 after a long-term pursuit by the Catalan club. However, the transfer has not gone exactly as they would have hoped, despite him maintaining a decent scoring record. With 35 goals from 99 games, Griezmann’s time with Barcelona could be about to end.

Reducing the wage bill is a matter of urgency for the La Liga giants. Griezmann is among their highest earners and is therefore a likely candidate to make way. The recent signings of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay mean they have enough depth up front to cope without him.

There have been rumours of a potential return to Atletico Madrid for Griezmann, who previously spent five prolific seasons in the Spanish capital. Such a deal could take shape as a swap with Saul Niguez, whom Atleti are trying to offload.

It appears highly improbable that the swap will happen, though, forcing Barca to consider other solutions for Griezmann.

Reports earlier this week claimed they could offer either him or centre-back Samuel Umtiti to Manchester United in a different swap deal for Paul Pogba. Despite their financial difficulties, Barca still want to make a statement signing and believe the midfielder would be relatively easy to acquire.

Only 12 months remain on Pogba’s contract, so he could make a move that may see one of his French compatriots head in the opposite direction.

United are trying to sign Raphael Varane in defence, so it seems their need for Griezmann would be greater than Umtiti. In fact, it is now claimed that they are very much open to signing the former Real Sociedad forward.

According to Diario Sport, a move to the Premier League makes sense for Griezmann and United would be interested in his services.

However, the report adds that they would only look to sign him if the conditions were right. Presumably, they would not want to over-commit in terms of a price tag or salary.

Antoine Griezzman, Barcelona celebration

But they are in a strong enough position to be able to afford Griezmann if they really want him.

There is no mention of a potential swap with Pogba, it is worth noting.

Chelsea still mentioned as Griezmann suitors

Sport also put Chelsea and Juventus in the frame for the 30-year-old. However, recent reports have ruled the Blues – as well as Manchester City – out of the running.

Chelsea are still looking for a striker after Timo Werner struggled to justify his price tag in his debut season. A number of names remain under consideration, with Erling Haaland the dream. But there are conflicting claims over whether Griezmann is one of them.

Barcelona will not be too fussed where he ends up as long as they can remove him from their wage bill as soon as possible.

United, who have Edinson Cavani as their main centre-forward with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood also options to play there, could see Griezmann as a useful reinforcement. But they have some thinking to do before firming up any interest.

READ MOREFresh Paul Pogba report creates nightmare scenario for Man Utd

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