It looked for all the world that the Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United transfer saga was going to stretch on for months.
Similarly to Paul Pogba last year, Griezmann had hinted at the move through his social media activity and in television interviews.
In one such interview, he rated his chances of signing for the Red Devils at six out of 10.
And in an advert for telecommunications company Huawei, Griezmann receives a call from a person named ‘Jose’. No prizes for guessing Jose’s surname.
But we’re not going to get an entire summer filled with Griezmann to United talk. The France international is ready to end such speculation by signing a new deal with Atletico Madrid.
According to the Daily Mail, Griezmann has put pen to paper on a new deal that runs until 2022. Of course, contract extensions are a rather feeble indication of a player’s future – Luis Suarez signed one at Liverpool months before he signed for Barcelona – so there’s still a chance we will see Griezmann in a Man United shirt, possible in the summer of 2018.
Griezmann’s loyalty to Atletico
The 26-year-old will stay at Atletico out of loyalty following the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the club’s transfer ban.
“It is a tough time for the club,” he told French media, per AS. “It would be a dirty move to leave now.”
Griezmann’s wages have been increased
There are additional benefits for the former Real Sociedad man, of course. His wages have been increased to £235,000-per-week, making him the fourth-highest paid player in La Liga behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
It’s short of Man United’s offer of £300,000-per-week, but still enough to ensure Griezmann will never go wanting for money.
Griezmann didn’t accept one part of new contract
Yet there’s one part of Griezmann’s new contract that he didn’t agree to – and it certainly benefits the Old Trafford club.
Atletico Madrid wanted to increase his buyout clause, which currently stands at £88 million.
But, according to the Mail, Griezmann refused to let the club change his current buyout clause, meaning he will still cost United £88m next year.
Griezmann still wants United
Such clauses can make it very difficult for a player to leave a club. Lionel Messi, for example, has a €250 million buyout clause in his Barcelona contract.
And Los Rojiblancos would surely have been aiming to up Griezmann’s into nine figures.
But the Frenchman wouldn’t allow them to – an indication that he is still keen on a move to United at some point in his career.