Done Deal: Manchester United complete £170m deal to sign world-class forward
Manchester United are set to complete a deal for Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann after he agreed a £280,000-per-week contract at Old Trafford, reports The Sun.
Griezmann, 25, is among the most wanted players in Europe right now, after another fine campaign in La Liga. The Frenchman has inspired Atletico Madrid to the Champions League semi finals after going one step further last year. He scored six goals on the way to helping his country to the final of their home European Championships last summer, only for France to suffer defeat to Portugal in the final.
Reports suggest the striker has an £86million buyout clause in his contract at the Vicente Calderon, which United are seemingly happy to pay. Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of Griezmann, having previously been keen to lure him to Chelsea in his second spell at Stamford Bridge. The Red Devils are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements, with 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic out for months with a serious knee injury. Having scored 28 goals in all competitions in his debut season, the option of a second year at the club, after only signing for one, has yet to be taken up.
Atletico will be keen to keep hold of Griezmann if possible and the player himself has stressed his commitment to the club. But defeat in the first leg of the Champions League semi against Real Madrid means getting knocked out of the competition by their closest rivals is looking extremely likely. Los Rojiblancos are no strangers to losing big name strikers either, having cashed in on Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa over the last decade.
United are no strangers to spending heavily, and Mourinho appears open to breaking their own world transfer record. Paul Pogba’s return from Juventus cost a staggering £89million, and although Griezmann would not cost that much in terms of the fee, it appears the muscles will be flexed in the off season.
The friendship between international teammates Pogba and Griezmann could also be key to any deal getting done. Pogba claims the Atletico man has asked him about life at Old Trafford before, and Griezmann admits he would love to team up at club level at some point in the future.
Football transfer rumours: Antoine Griezmann agrees Manchester United deal? https://t.co/sZuEmDI1MI— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 4, 2017
Champions League football could be a decisive factor, too. Whilst it wasn’t for the likes of Pogba and Ibrahimovic, Griezmann may decide against a switch if United do not qualify. They are currently a point off the top four, but are prioritising winning the Europa League, which would be another route in.