With a new manager at the helm and a burning desire to return to success, Chelsea won’t be holding much back this transfer window.
After their catastrophic 2015-16 campaign, the Blues look set to spend big to ensure there are no repeats next season.
One big money player persistently linked with Stamford Bridge this summer has proven Antoine Griezmann. However, while a move to the west London side was likely tempting, he was correct to snub approaches from the Blues.
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It’s not difficult to discern why Chelsea were interested in the Frenchman. Since moving to Atletico Madrid, Griezmann has risen to one of the most feared forwards in European football.
During his first two seasons in the Spanish capital, the 25-year-old accumulated 57 goals in just 107 outings. What makes this all the more impressive is the fact he doesn’t always play as an out-and-out striker.
Consequently, the Blues were heavily interested and The Guardian, among other publications, drew the link.
The speculation was to such an extent that Blues fans were getting weak at the knees when Griezmann was believed to have been playing as Chelsea on Football Manager.
Despite this, the French forward has quelled interest by signing a new contract with Atletico Madrid. The decision has essentially ended any hopes of a Chelsea move with Griezmann committing his future to Atletico.
The 25-year-old was correct to do so.
Atletico Madrid may not wield the glamour of Barcelona nor their Madrid neighbours, but they have reached two Champions League finals in just three years.
Considering Chelsea no longer possess a place in Europe’s premier competition, a move would have been odd at best. Griezmann would have been leaving a side that came a few penalty kicks away from winning, to a team that didn’t even qualify.
There are further reasons also. The ex-Real Sociedad man is the key player at Atletico and enjoys being the centre of influence.
Not only would Griezmann likely have to play second fiddle to Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge but he may also have been shifted out of position. Besides, such a nimble striker may be ill suited for the rough and tumble style of the Premier League.
Atletico are also an established club, especially under the Diego Simeone regime. It’s difficult to see the benefit to Griezmann’s career in moving to a side notorious for switching managers on a scarily regular basis.
Moving to Chelsea would have proven an unnecessary step into the unknown. The money may have been significant, but turning his back on all he’s fought for at the Vicente Calderon would have been illogical.
The Blues will have to turn elsewhere this summer, yet on the back of a shocking season and with no Champions league football they face an uphill struggle. Griezmann won’t be the last to snub the Blues this summer.
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