If Manchester United’s pursuit of Paul Pogba last summer wasn’t exhaustive enough, we can expect a similar saga when the club move for Antoine Griezmann at the end of the season.
Jose Mourinho is expected to trigger the Frenchman’s £86 million release clause as he attempts to build a squad capable of returning United to the top of the Premier League.
It’s no surprise the Portuguese is chasing Griezmann, either. The Atletico Madrid star has netted 22 times in all competitions this season, including a wonderful free-kick in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Sevilla.
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Griezmann turns 26 today. He’s certainly in the discussion for the best player in the world not named Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
United are aware of the France international’s release clause but Atleti won’t make things easy for them. It’s conceivable that the La Liga club won’t agree to Griezmann’s buyout clause, and they’ll be doubly eager to keep him considering their transfer ban.
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Whatever happens in the summer, rest assured this could be one lengthy drama.
The clubs Griezmann has dreamed about
Typically when speculation intensifies, players go quiet. But not Griezmann, who has openly named the clubs he has “dreamed about” playing for since he was a kid.
While he didn’t name Man United, you have to imagine they are one of the Premier League clubs he has alluded to.
Asked on a webchat for L’Equipe - brought to our attention by the Daily Mail - whether he would ever play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, Griezmann replied: “Why not? It's a dream to play for the biggest clubs and those two are up with Bayern [Munich] and English clubs that I have dreamed about since I was small.”
But he doesn't want to leave
But don’t think for a second that Griezmann is expressing a desire to leave Atletico. He’s been at the club since 2014 and has no plans to move elsewhere.
“I don't see myself at Barcelona or Real,” he continued. “Or anywhere else. I am happy in Spain. It's sunny – that helps. I need that to be in my private live and on the pitch. The two are linked.
“I don't want to leave Atletico to go to Paris (Saint-Germain), China, the United States, Russia or elsewhere.”
Perhaps Mourinho needs to deploy Agent Pogba to convince his countryman to join him at Old Trafford.
Is Griezmann the third-best player in the world? Let us know in the comments section below!
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