Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United – it’s the transfer rumour that simply won’t die.
That being said, what was once mere speculation is becoming more and more tangible by the day. The player himself has ensured that Atletico Madrid fans are suitably concerned and everyone at Old Trafford is licking their lips.
It looks set to be for summer 2017 what the Paul Pogba saga was for 2016.
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So, at this point, what do we actually know? Well, it’s doubtful that there has necessarily been much contact between clubs or anything in the way of a bid at such an early stage but Griezmann certainly seems keen to switch.
Not many fans would have anticipated the forward committing himself to Atletico yet the nature with which he has entertained the idea of a move away is beautifully surprising.
The 26-year-old told French television that he rated his chances of a United switch at six out of 10 and, in a separate interview, stated he was simply “ready to go.” You don’t have to read between the lines to ascertain his stance.
Furthermore, Jose Mourinho has admitted his own interest in the player, stopping only at the fact that the move is completely down to Ed Woodward.
So while Griezmann certainly hasn’t kept his mouth shut and Mourinho is teasing the situation further, one body from which we have heard little is Atletico Madrid themselves. After all, there seems such confidence in at least a move away that the club is being portrayed as helpless and uninvolved.
Not on the watch of club president Enrique Cerezo, though.
He was asked at the Vicente Calderon, after the Copa del Rey final, as to whether Griezmann would still be there next season. What initially proved a jokey response, soon carried through confidence and conviction as well.
Speaking to Telecinco, Cerezo answered: “Will Griezmann be here? Well, no, he will be in the Wanda Metropolitano.
"He is going to be in the Wanda Metropolitano."
Well, nobody can argue with the fact Griezmann won’t be at the Vicente Calderon next season. Nevertheless, quite whether he’ll be leading out Los Colchoneros at their new ground next season is a different question entirely.
So is it misguided confidence or does he know something that we don’t? It certainly adds an extra layer to the saga, that’s for sure.
It’s no wonder that Atletico are so keen to hold onto Griezmann, though; he has been phenomenal for the club across his three-year spell. The smaller matter of 83 goals in just 160 appearances is a statistic that speaks for itself.
Yet it only goes to show why Atletico will struggle so much to achieve that goal and why Cerezo could be suffering delusions of grandeur. Besides, Griezmann’s only trophy with the club is the 2014 Spanish Super Cup - enough said.
If anything, however, Cerezo shouldn’t be so confident because nobody really is. Griezmann has the pick of European clubs and regardless of how United and Atletico play their cards, it seems the ball is firmly in his court.
On current form, it seems he wants nothing but out, whether his club president likes it or not. Period.
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