Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have all missed out on the signing of Antoine Griezmann as Atletico Madrid confirmed they had agreed a deal to snap him up.
Real Sociedad announced on Tuesday that an agreement had been made, with reports suggesting the Vicente Calderon club had met the £24million buyout clause in the France international’s contract.
Spurs coveted him most
Tottenham were reportedly most keen on the 23-year-old, but all three of Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have been credited with an interest in a player that has improved immensely over the past couple of seasons.
New White Hart Lane boss Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly keen on a new winger, despite already having the likes of Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela all familiar with the role.
However, signing Griezmann would have been an impressive coup after he impressed so many with his speedy and committed displays for Didier Deschamps’ France side this summer.
Old Trafford interest
Manchester United have a few issues in wide areas and many expect new boss Louis van Gaal to strengthen. Though it could be argued the new 3-5-2 (ish) formation the Netherlands coach has deployed in pre-season so far may not suit Griezmann too well.
Current options at Old Trafford in the wide areas are Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young, none of whom have been in terribly good form the past two seasons. However, Valencia has been deployed as a right wing-back in pre-season and his attributed would suit the role, so the new contract he was given earlier this summer makes sense.
Chelsea made sense
Jose Mourinho’s system at Chelsea would have be perfect for the fast and skilful Griezmann, so it was understandable that the Blues were linked with a possible move for him.
Had he moved to Stamford Bridge, Griezmann would have had some serious competition for a space on the flanks, as Mourinho has a number of options. Eden Hazard is the main man in the Chelsea side, while all of Mohamed Salah, Andre Schurrle and Willian have impressed in the role.
Arsenal have an abundance of pace on the flanks following the £30million capture of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona this month. The Chile international joins Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski as dangerous attacking options.
However, Arsene Wenger will almost always be linked with any promising young French player and this summer he has shown a willingness to spend the extra revenues becoming available. Calum Chambers of Southampton, Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United and Colombian ‘keeper David Ospina joined Sanchez in becoming new arrivals at the Emirates Stadium.