Tapping Up Scandal Could See Antoine Griezmann End Up At Man United

It’s looking increasingly likely that Antoine Griezmann’s time at Atletico Madrid is coming to an end and I certainly wouldn’t bet against him leaving next month.

Atleti’s transfer ban comes to an end, when January the first comes around, and they already have striker Diego Costa waiting in the wings to make his long awaited return to the club.

It was thought French star Griezmann only stayed on, beyond last summer, as a way of thanking Atletico and his boss Diego Simeone and not leaving them in the lurch when they couldn’t register a replacement.

When you look at the forward’s form this term, he hasn’t been in the same rich vein as he’s been in previous seasons. He seems like a player already thinking about his next move and that’s frustrated the fanbase at Atletico.

The recent news suggested the twenty-six year old’s family had dined with FC Barcelona President  Josep Maria Bartomeu about a possible transfer. Those reports haven’t gone down well in Madrid, with Atletico supposedly reporting the Catalan club to FIFA regarding an unofficial approach.

The story about the supposed approach could do two things that might make it easier for Manchester United when it comes to wooing the French internationalist to Old Trafford.

Firstly, the Atletico Madrid fans will be more inclined to let the player leave the Wanda Metropolitano. Those supporters will be desperate for him not to join their La Liga rivals.

Will involving FIFA make Barca back off?

It’s quite conceivable given that they have been given a transfer ban due to dodgy transfer dealings in the past and they were quick to moan about how PSG moved in on Neymar last summer. They may decide to step back from the situation and give Atletico time to cool down.

I would bet my bottom dollar that Simeone would do his upmost to try and persuade Antoine to join Man United rather than go to the Camp Nou. The Argentine manager won’t want to see his star player join the team he’s fighting with for the Spanish title, nor does he want to see his supporters upset because a talent has left for a foe. So I fully expect Diego to use emotional blackmail and everything else at his disposal to get Griezmann to leave Spain, if he’s leaving Los Colchoneros this winter.

Atletico would probably entertain bids from United and might even offer the attacker to Jose Mourinho in January. They may even ask for less than the £88m release clause that he has inserted into his contract. To bring in a world class player, who was your top target in the summer, for less than £88m would certainly appeal to the Red Devils.

With Henrikh Mkhitaryan going off the boil and falling down the pecking order at United, it might make sense to ship the Armenian out and bring Griezmann in. Antoine can play in any offensive role and that versatility will impress Jose and the striker would also add more goals and assists to the frontline.

Obviously Man Utd will have to question whether they want Griezmann or do they wait and go for Gareth Bale in the summer? I’d be inclined to pulling the trigger in January and going for the Frenchman. At twenty-six, he’s the younger of the two and United know that when it comes to doing deals that Real Madrid can change on a whim and that Bale might not be available after all and they’ll still have to pay premium for the talent too.

If I were Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward, then I’d be on the phone to Diego Simeone and the Atletico Madrid hierarchy and respectfully asking about the player’s situation at the club. If a deal can be done, then get it done now. At the same time you can ask ‘Agent P’ (Paul Pogba) to sound out his international teammate.

Without doubt Antoine Griezmann would come in and add extra world class talent to the Manchester United ranks, if he were to make the move!


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