French forward Antoine Griezmann has continually been linked with a move to Manchester United, but if a deal is to be finally agreed with Atletico Madrid this summer, the Red Devils will face stiffer competition for his signature than ever before.
United boss Jose Mourinho is expected to make a number of changes to his squad this summer, which caught the attention of analysis within the Premier League betting blog at bet365, in which the Portuguese manager has insisted the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian, can all still have a role to play in the future at the club.
“If happiness means for them to leave, let’s see what happens, but they are in my plans,” Mourinho claimed, effectively leaving the door open for the players to decide their own futures. Meanwhile, it’s clear that to genuinely challenge for the Premier League title won by Manchester United, or to be considered a serious contender in the Champions League, United will need to bring in a number of quality additions to the squad this summer.
Top of the shopping list for some considerable period of time has been Griezmann, with United favourites to secure a deal for the 27-year-old last summer. However, in the midst of a transfer ban last year, Atletico Madrid were reluctant to sell and the player himself opted to stay, helping to avoid a potential headache for both his club and manager, Diego Simeone.
Other clubs in England have been linked with similar interest from time to time, although it’s unlikely that United will face any competition from Premier League teams in their pursuit of Griezmann, after Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague scotched rumours of interest from Liverpool, his verdict was that with talk in Spain of the player having rejected a contract extension with Atletico Madrid, the current club leading the chase is FC Barcelona.
If that wasn’t enough, the chances of Griezmann leaving La Liga reduce even further when there’s talk of him remaining in the Spanish capital, albeit not with Atletico Madrid. They may be favourites to secure a third consecutive Champions League title, but Real Madrid are far from happy with their domestic performance throughout the 2017-18 campaign in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Neymar, Mohamed Salah and even Harry Kane have regularly appeared in the gossip columns as potential targets to bolster attacking options at the Bernabeu, though any one of those players would require an exorbitant transfer outlay. Although they’re hardly short of money, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is unlikely to move for players that could end up costing well in excess of €200 million to sign.
Indeed, why do so when there’s a perfectly suitable target right on their very own doorstep. The current release clause in the contract of Griezmann is valued at €100 million by Atletico Madrid, meaning an approach from Real Madrid would be a shrewd business according to fichajes.net in Spain, even considering the inflated nature of the transfer market for top stars these days.
Barcelona are rumoured to be keen on securing any move they make for Griezmann, before the 2018 World Cup begins in June. Real Madrid will undoubtedly be alert to that situation too and won’t delay in moving if their interest is genuine. This means that Manchester United have absolutely no time to waste whatsoever if they’re to get the hugely talented Frenchman to Old Trafford, because in less than a month, his future could very well already be decided.