The ink is barely dry on Paul Pogba’s contract at Manchester United but it seems Jose Mourinho is already setting his sights on his next high-profile signing.
Numerous reports, including one from Manchester Evening News, suggest that the Red Devils are keen on Antoine Griezmann and have earmarked the Atletico Madrid forward as their primary target for next summer.
But where world-class players are concerned, there is always competition for their signature.
That was the case with Pogba this summer with Real Madrid also chasing the Frenchman.
But it seems as though the chase to sign Griezmann will involve Premier League rivals, rather than Zinedine Zidane’s side.
The Red Devils managed to beat Madrid to Pogba by throwing a ridiculous amount of money at the deal. While Mourinho will likely have to activate Griezmann’s release clause and pay him incredible wages in order to sign him, they have an alternative plan to get the Frenchman on board rather than persuading him with money.
That’s because, according to The Sun, United plan to use Pogba to lure his compatriot to sign for them.
The pair appear to have an extremely close relationship while representing their country with the Atleti star admitting that they bonded very well during this summer’s European Championships.
“We get on very well. It is true that the Euros has brought us closer together still,” he said.
“Paul is a really nice guy. He is it! We send messages, Snapchats. He’s really a good friend. When he plays with his club, I try to look at it to see if he had a good game or not.”
Whether Griezmann will be willing to leave the Vicente Calderon just to play alongside his mate remains to be seen, but it’s certainly worth a go as far as United are concerned.
Many believe United paid over the odds when they broke the transfer record by paying £89 million for Pogba but if he can lure Griezmann to the club in the future, the former Juventus player may well justify his incredible transfer fee after all.
But the groundwork Pogba is putting in with Griezmann at the moment could all be wasted if United fail to qualify for the Champions League. Mourinho’s side haven’t got off to the best of start and, while they may have signed Pogba without the prospect of Champions League football, it may prove difficult to do the same with Griezmann.