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Manchester United must do everything in their power to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer

Building a team around Pogba is key - and it starts with signing Griezmann

The transfer merry-go-round already seems to have begun with Real Madrid announcing Luka Jovic and looking close to completing deals for Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy.

Barcelona are rumoured to have sewn up deals for Matthijs De Ligt and Antoine Griezmann, although the Catalans are remaining tight-lipped about any incoming players after having their fingers burned by the Frenchman last season.

One name that dominated the column inches in the immediate aftermath of the final game of last season was Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.

Frankly, for a World Cup winner, he was absolutely pathetic in United’s loss to Cardiff, their first against that opponent since 1954.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was looking for a leader on the pitch, he couldn’t find it in the marauding midfielder.

However, we all know that Pogba has it in him to be ‘the man.’ Suggestions that he’s lacking motivation because of the quality of players around him isn’t without foundation.

It’s perhaps with that in mind that rumours continue to surface as to the player moving elsewhere too.

Discussions a year ago with Barcelona came to nothing, and Real Madrid seem to have cooled their interest again, no doubt due in no small part to Pogba’s interfering agent, Mino Raiola.

Going back to Juventus remains a possibility, but if United can sign the right calibre of player, then there’s no reason whatsoever why Pogba would move from the red half of Manchester.

To that end, going all-in for Griezmann, his team-mate at international level, makes a lot of sense.

There’s an awful lot of chatter on social media and elsewhere about the French striker’s €120m release clause, but, strangely, nowhere close to the same noise when Gareth Bale’s name is mentioned as a possible capture, despite him costing almost as much, being almost a year older and also much more injury prone.

It’s clear from the multitude of videos seen online, particularly those from before and during the World Cup tournament last summer, that Pogba and Griezmann share a brotherly bond.

Pogba

If Ed Woodward can persuade Atletico to sell the latter to United, rather than Barcelona, and he can then secure the player on favourable personal terms, there’s every reason to believe that Pogba will stay at Old Trafford, and with renewed purpose and focus.

No Champions League football remains a stumbling block for both players, and there’s no way of getting away from that fact or dressing it up. But for United, it must be all about intent.

They’ve fallen so far from where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson, that there’s not really too much further they can go.

Using arch rivals Liverpool as the barometer, if the Norwegian is allowed to bring in the right players with money a secondary consideration, then in a couple of seasons time, United could finally be looking at being back amongst the European elite once again.

Antoine Griezmann is set to leave Atletico

Now is the time to put a marker down. United are back, and all that.

Liverpool being just one-point shy of the Premier League title and winning a sixth Champions League will have hurt the movers and shakers at Old Trafford.

In hiring Griezmann, they’ll be sending out the right message to both supporters and players.

And for all of his perceived faults, Pogba remained head and shoulders above his colleagues in 2018/19. United simply can’t afford to lose him and must build their team around him.

Starting with Griezmann.