Antoine Griezmann is expected to depart from Atletico this summer, with both Manchester United and Barcelona as possible destinations for the Frenchman.
Griezmann was expected to leave for Manchester United last year, but Atletico’s transfer ban meant that they could not bring in a replacement for their star attacker. The Frenchman then showed tremendous loyalty and delayed his big money move by staying at the Spanish club.
But that train looks to have passed, as Manchester United’s signing of Alexis Sanchez seems to have scuppered their move for Griezmann in the summer.
Sanchez’s signing was totally unexpected, as United could not have imagined acquiring a world class star in January.
As fate would have it though, Manchester United handed the Chilean their iconic number seven jersey, and reportedly shelved their interest in Griezmann.
This puts Barcelona in pole position to sign the star Frenchman, with Griezmann also favouring a move to the Catalan giants.
Spanish journalist, Guillem Balague, is positive regarding a potential move for Griezmann, as he believes that Barcelona are keen to add the attacker in the summer.
“Griezmann is definitely a target – €100m is what he will cost this summer. Barcelona feels that Griezmann has been very positive about the possibility of joining Barcelona as well.”
“Even though Atletico has taken the case to FIFA, for the alleged illegal approach of Barcelona, basically what Atletico have told Griezmann is, ‘If you want to stay, we’re happy for you to stay, if you want to go, there are other ways of doing this’, so they are just being realistic to Griezmann.”
“Atletico wanted to take pressure away from him and focus on the rest of the season. To be honest, in the last month, Griezmann has been a better player. With Diego Costa next to him, you’ve seen a player that has delivered much better than he had done earlier in the season, scoring a goal or an assist in six of the last seven games. Of course he’s absolutely a target for Barcelona, no doubt about it.”
It is now being said that Ousmane Dembele could go the other way, as Diego Simeone is a big fan of the Frenchman. The capture of Coutinho in the winter window was a blow to Dembele, as his playing time would significantly reduce ahead of the world cup this summer.
With Griezmann also coming in, it may be a good option for Barcelona to bite the bullet and send their second most expensive signing to Atletico in the summer.