If you're a Manchester United fan, you could be forgiven for thinking that Antoine Griezmann joining the club this summer was a done deal.
Such has been the extent of the speculation surrounding the Frenchman that it seems pretty inevitable that he'll leave Atletico Madrid.
However, in reality, it's far from certain that he'll be a United player next season.
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There are a number of factors that could stop him quitting the Vicente Calderon.
Diego Simeone is one. The Atleti manager was expected to leave the Spanish capital himself, but he's now likely to stay, as reported by the Daily Mail at the end of last year.
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The fact that United aren't in the top four is another. After suffering heartbreak in the Champions League final last season, Griezmann will want to make sure he has another crack at winning the competition. He can't do that if United aren't even in it.
Griezmann looking unlikely
It's not even the personal terms that are the main obstacle.
Atleti are being difficult because they are set to move to a new stadium, so amidst that upheaval, they're reluctant to lose their prize asset.
The Independent have a new development on this story, and it's that the Red Devils no longer see him as a priority because they're aware of how hard it'll be to get the deal over the line.
Release clauses can actually be more complex than ordinary bids, and Real Madrid's apparent interest could also turn the player's head.
Two brilliant backup options
In that vein, Jose Mourinho has picked out two alternative targets. It would definitely soften the blow if United could get either of these.
Robert Lewandowski is understood to be the first. Signing Bayern Munich's top scorer would be a huge statement from United, though that's not likely to be a straightforward process either as the Bavarians won't want to lose him.
Monaco's Kylian Mbappe is the other option. The 18-year-old has been making a name for himself in Ligue 1, scoring 12 goals in 14 starts in domestic competitions.
It would come as a huge disappointment to United fans if they now fail to land Griezmann. On the other hand, if they start to pursue Lewandowski, or more realistically Mbappe, they could still end up buying a great talent.
Who should United buy if they don't get Griezmann? Let us know in the comments.
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