Spanish football expert Guillem Balague does not expect Manchester United to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann before the summer transfer window closes next Tuesday.
Balague, who was taking part in a question and answer session on Sky Sports’ official website, was asked whether there was any truth in the recent rumours of United signing Griezmann after missing out on Pedro.
The well-connected journalist responded: "Neither Atletico Madrid nor Griezmann expect any offer arriving in the next few days and Atletico have got no intention whatsoever to let him go."
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Atletico, in a bid to prevent an overseas club snatching Griezmann at the end of the transfer window, increased the France international’s release clause from £43 million to £56 million earlier this month.
It could be argued that the 24-year-old now belongs alongside those world-class players - like Neymar, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero and Gareth Bale - who find themselves on that second tier of elite footballers behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Griezmann would be superb at United
Griezmann has netted 45 goals in his previous two full seasons, with Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, and scored his side’s only goal in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Las Palmas.
The Frenchman would be a superb signing for any top club in Europe, but Atletico Madrid are understandably hell-bent on keeping at the Vicente Calderon.
Their task, however, is made easier by the fact Griezmann is content playing and developing under the revered Diego Simeone.
If Manchester United want to secure the services of a world-class player without paying a fee in excess of £60 million, Antoine Griezmann is their man.
Manchester United fans: should your club pay the £56 million required to sign Antoine Griezmann - or is that too much money? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!