Manchester United are already eyeing up a sensational swoop for the popular French international Antoine Griezmann next summer, according to reports. It is believed that current Atletico Madrid forward has apparently been identified as an ideal long-term replacement for the ageing Wayne Rooney.
Many people were looking forward to a bit of a break from the transfer rumour mill with the window only just slamming shut at 11pm on Wednesday evening – but the mouth-watering prospect of seeing Griezmann in a Manchester United shirt has already whetted the appetite of some United fans ahead of next summer. Usually, when the club gets linked to a player of the 25-year-old’s calibre, a lot of Red Devils supporters are quick to dismiss it as complete and utter rubbish due to past disappointment, however, after a successful summer which saw the club make Paul Pogba the holder of the world’s most expensive transfer fee – defeating the likes of Real Madrid to do so, according to his agent, the optimism is high.
Griezmann is a player that most, if not all, Manchester United fans have on their transfer wish list and understandably so. The Atletico star netted 22 times in 38 La Liga fixtures last season, picking up six assists to go with it, the season before, he again scored 22 times, but this time, he only set up a teammate three times, although he achieved that in one less game. In the 2016 UEFA European Championships this summer, he enjoyed a breakthrough competition on an international stage for the home nation, France. The attacker remarkably collected the honour of being Player of the Tournament after scoring six times and assisting twice when helping steer a French side consisting of Paul Pogba, Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial of Manchester United to the final – where they were defeated 1-0 by Portugal. Impressively, he was also the competition’s top goal scorer.
If the ex-Real Sociedad star was open to leaving Spain next summer, the interest in him would be high, no doubt. But, what could give United the edge over other clubs? One potential reason why he may be tempted by a move to Jos Mourinho’s side could be the fact the Frenchman has a number of friends already at Old Trafford – a small contingent of French internationals already enjoy each other’s company at the club in Schneiderlin, Martial and indeed the summer signing, Pogba. If Mourinho was interested in the Atletico Madrid number seven then it is more than likely that the aforementioned players would be trying hard to tempt the forward into joining them. Furthermore, it has also been reported that Griezmann’s footballing idol when growing up was ex-Manchester United star – David Beckham, the player has revealed the reason he wears a long-sleeved jersey and wears the number seven shirt is because he is following in the footsteps of the Beckham. That could suggest Griezmann was a Manchester United supporter while growing up, however there is no confirmation of this, although that argument is strengthened by fact that an image that has surfaced in the past of him during his Real Sociedad days holding up two shirts, one being a Sociedad shirt and the other being a United shirt. He has also been on record praising Pogba’s return to the club by revealing it is the perfect side for his French teammate, Griezmann himself has also suggested he may be interested in a move to the Premier League one day in the future.
It remains to be seen whether the suggested interest in the star is legit. Adding to that, whether he would depart the club he signed a new contract with this summer as early as next, is also unclear. It would not be an easy deal to complete, but you cannot rule out any transfer if Ed Woodward is in the kind of form as he was in this year. But one thing is for sure, if this player was walking onto the hallowed turf of Old Trafford in a red shirt next season – then there would be many happy United supporters, as it would mean another world class piece of talent is in our ranks.