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Antoine Griezmann asks to leave Atletico Madrid, Manchester United bound?

Manchester United have been linked with Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann for around about a year now with reports last summer the Jose Mourinho would sign him the following year – this summer. For months now, the reports have been rife with the player himself fanning the flames with his ‘six out of ten’ prediction that he would sign for Manchester United this summer. Many seem to think the deal is all but done, but it seems far from it, but still likely. The Independent have reported today that the Frenchman has asked to leave Madrid this summer, with United waiting in the wings to activate his €100 million (£87 million) release clause to seal the deal, which would be one of the biggest deals of the summer. United do need attention to their squad this summer with a reliance on Zlatan Ibrahimovic last season up to the point he injured his knee missing the remainder of the season, including the UEFA Europa League final.

Atletico Madrid had insisted that their star player would remain at the club who will move to a new stadium this summer. With the release clause being present in the player’s contract and the willingness of a club to pay that fee, that insistence in Griezmann remaining at the club was ill-thought out as looking at it, they do not actually control the situation. If a club is ready to activate the release clause, the player is on his way out of the club. That will be a big blow for Atletico, but they will be well-rewarded with the €100 million fee for the player, which would mean it would be the second big season for United where they have paid a massive transfer fee for a player who will go along way to complete the side Jose Mourinho is trying to build at the club. Paul Pogba signed for United in a world-record deal last summer, one which has been criticised by many – most saying the player was a flop despite him being consistent from his time at Juventus, playing in a much more difficult league.

Griezmann is one of the best players in world football right now and with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi getting older, it will only be a period of time before younger players start to rule the roost like the pair has done over the years. Antoine Griezmann, if he is playing for the right club, with the right players has the ability to set the world on fire. United would need to attention in their squad though as they cannot go from being reliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to being reliant on Griezmann – that will not change much. United will need to become the team every supporter wants them to be – that attacking power who defends on the attack, scoring goal after goal. This summer Mourinho will be looking to bring just that – which will make us all happy. United have had a barren period, but the arrival of Mourinho, along with Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba last summer lifted spirits and gave us all something to hope.

The returned with United winning the FA Community Shield, the EFL Cup and ending the season by lifting the only major honour the club have failed to win, the UEFA Europa League, finishing the season with a double, or treble if you want to give the Liverpool supporters something to whine about. The fact that, despite not being one of the best teams in the Premier League over the last season, United have won two major cup competitions, suggests that there is something in the team to be taken forward to new heights. Griezmann and others will be of benefit to United and Mourinho in achieving that, pushing the club further forward in their quest to challenge for the Premier League title, needing to take on Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal – all of the clubs who finished above them last season.

United are back to where they belong, achieving UEFA Champions League football next season, which was one of the key targets in order to land players like Griezmann. Now that seems to be in the bag, it could only be a matter of time before Griezmann is on his way to Manchester for a medical and to completed his transfer to the Theatre of Dreams. I still remain skeptical of such a deal happening as if any other clubs are willing to pay the price to lure the Frenchman, it could make things difficult for United. The player worshiped David Beckham at a stage in his early life and probably still does today. His brother is a United supporter so that being said, it would be difficult to see him play for another club, but money does talk. We shall see what happens.

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