Atletico Madrid target Antoine Griezmann

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Atletico Madrid have been linked with a move for Real Sociedad talisman Antoine Griezmann, according to the Express.

The La Liga champions face competition though from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for the £25 million-rated winger.

Spurs have already had a £15 million bid for the French international rejected, but Atletico have emerged as contenders for his signature.

Atletico rebuilding

Diego Simeone’s men have seen somewhat of a clearout this summer with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois returning to Chelsea after his loan spell expired, while defender Filipe Luis and striker Diego Costa have followed him to Stamford Bridge.

The sale of David Villa to New York City has left a hole out on the wings, and with Arda Turan linked with a move away from Vicente Calderon, it seems that Atleti need to act quickly.

Griezmann was a revelation for Txuriurdin last season with 20 goals in all competitions, as they finished seventh in La Liga and reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Ray.

This alerted French manager Didier Deschamps who gave him his senior international debut last March, before selecting him in the final 2014 World Cup squad. Injury to Franck Ribery saw him start in his place on the left of the three-man attack against Honduras in the opening 3-0 win.

He played a part in all five of his country’s matches, as they finished top of Group E before being narrowly edged out by eventual champions Germany in the quarter-finals.

Griezmann: Experienced 23-year-old

With World Cup and UEFA Champions League experience already under his belt, 23-year-old Griezmann would be a good long-term acquisition for Atleti. His excellent dribbling and acceleration would give them strength down the wings and as we saw last season, he has plenty of goals in him which will be hugely required after the sale of Costa.

Griezmann has spent almost 10 years with Sociedad, having moved to Spain to join the youth team when he was just 14 years old.

His first-team breakthrough came following a successful pre-season before the start of the 2009/10 campaign. He made a whopping 39 league appearances and scored six times as Sociedad were promoted to La Liga as Segunda Division champions.

Related links

Antoine Griezmann attracting Tottenham transfer interest
Arsenal linked with approach for Griezmann

He remained a regular first-team player as he missed a total of just four games over his first two seasons in La Liga. His most significant impact came in the 2012/13 campaign which produced 10 more league goals, the last of these was the winner against Deportivo La Coruna to seal Champions League football for his side.

Griezmann is now a crucial player at Anoeta and Sociedad will do everything they can to keep him with the UEFA Europa League to come this season. But the prospect of more Champions League football may well be too hard to turn down.

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