Menu

Manchester United ready to offer Saul Niguez £150,000 per week; player worth £71 million – reports

Manchester United are reportedly prepared to offer Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez £150,000 per week to sign for the Old Trafford club. It is suggested that the player is worth £71 million this summer. The reports from the Daily Star with the newspaper suggesting that United will revive their interest in the player. It is hardly reliable information from the newspaper, what seems to put together so much clickbait, especially when transfer windows are open.

The 25-year-old is considered as one of the brightest rising stars in the game and for that reason, it would not be just one club that was interested in the player, which would end up rising the transfer fee of the player. If United made a move, other big clubs would follow and there would be a transfer saga which is not something that United need as they turn everything into a saga right now. If United are not willing to spend a lot or money up front this summer, as seems to be the case with Jadon Sancho, it makes this speculation harder to believe.

There are so many players that United are apparently trying to sign this summer and it would amount into a massive spend this summer, and if United wanted that, they would have shown signs of doing that by now. Granted, Niguez’s season has just ended with Atletico Madrid being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League after being beaten by RB Leipzig earlier this week. The clubs failure in Europe could see the Spanish midfielder seek a new challenge but that is speculation rather than fact.

It is stated in the report that United feel that Atletico’s exit from the Champions League would strengthen the fact that Niguez could opt to leave the club this summer. It was reported back in April that the player’s €150 million release clause would likely be cut in half this summer, hence the £71 million fee stated in the report. If that is true, it would be a great deal for a club with money to make a move for the player. Niguez is a top talent and could form a great midfield trio with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

The 25-year-old has made a total of 47 appearances for Atletico this season, scoring seven goals and no assists in 4,246 minutes of football. After seeing his club beaten by German club RB Leipzig in the Champions League this week, Niguez spoke to the media about the hurt of losing in the completion, which seems to show the player’s annoyance because of what happened. Atletico will need to strong think about their plans for the future and the 25-year-old does not seek happy – he said:

“It hurts to lose, but our rivals were better in the game. They raised the tempo and we did not know how to react. They were superior to us, and at times we were not even close to stopping them.”

United need some rebuilding at the club this summer as there is a problem with the depth of the squad. Whilst there is depth, the quality of that depth is not the greatest. It is stated that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be willing to sell Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira this summer with none of the players achieving anything at the club this season although Smalling was on loan for the whole season and Rojo was loaned out in January. There is a lot to think about at United if this report has any factual content, which I doubt.

Written by John Walker

Saul Niguez to announce new club in three days; attention seeking or a legitimate thing?

It has been an interesting Sunday so far. It would seem that Manchester United midfield target, Saul Niguez, has taken to Twitter and given the impression that he will announce a new club in three days, ending speculation about where his future will lie. United have been linked with a move for the player this summer.

The Spanish midfielder had a £130 million release clause as part of his contract but due to the financial uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is suggested that the player could be available for around half of that with Spanish reports suggesting that United has agreed a £72 million deal with Atletico Madrid.

However, this is all speculation. After seeking former teammate Antione Griezmann play around with the media not all that long ago, then after a period of time, put out a soap opera-esque video confirming that he would stay at Atletico, only to move to Barcelona a year or so later. It leave me wondering whether this could be similar.

Obviously, it would be great if United signed a player that they have been interested in for some time and it could fuel the fire that Paul Pogba will leave the club this summer, being that Bruno Fernandes only arrived at the club in January and Fred and Scott McTominay have been playing well this season. Pogba is being linked with an exit of the club.

When announcing this on Twitter, the 25-year-old will have put a cat amongst the pigeons, creating many different things to be said and done for the next three days with journalists thinking about how to concoct the most believable story, if just to build their own egos. It does give an interest level though, with me wondering if it is what it says it is or attention seeking. His tweet read:

“I want to communicate something very important to me. NEW CLUB – I’ll announce it in 3 days…”

You cannot help but get excited at times like this but with La Liga to resume in eight days and Atletico seeking to better their current place, sixth in the table, would the club allow a player like Niguez to announce that he was leaving before the season is over? It all seems very strange and if so, would surely be difficult for his teammates.

This season at Atletico Madrid, the 25-year-old has, at least so far, made a total of 37 appearances, scoring four goals, playing in La Liga, the Supercopa, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League, where he scored in the first leg of the round of 16 against Liverpool with his side knocking the Premier League leaders out of the competition.

It was not long ago that the Spaniard signed a new long-term contract at Atletico Madrid, which is due to expire in the summer of 2026, when the player will most likely be nearing the end of the peak of his career. If his new club is United, it would help United in the midfield massively. He can play a number of midfield positions from central to left and right.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to make moves for players this summer, with a bid to turning United’s fortunes around and hopefully doing enough to close the gap on the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea with United starting to look like a squad that could mount a title charge next season, seven seasons after winning their last Premier League title.

Spanish midfielder may be available for €75 million this summer – half of his reported €150 million release clause

Manchester United have once again been linked to Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, a player they have been linked to in the past but never managed to sign. The 25-year-old signed a five-year contract extension in the summer of 2017, which would keep him at the Madrid club until the summer of 2026 – when the player is 31-years-old.

The player has a €150 million release clause as part of his contract, which is something that many clubs will not be able to afford to pay, especially in the climate which will be coming up after the coronavirus pandemic. It has been suggested by Spanish news source, AS that the Madrid club would accept a €75 million fee for the player.

It is suggested that Atletico are a club that has been affected by the pandemic and that this has limited their funds. Earlier this week, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France were cancelled with no sporting events to be played until at least September and there is a fear that the same thing could happen in Spain.

Before the pandemic stopped world football, Niguez had made a total of 37 appearances for Atletico this season, scoring four goals, playing a total of 3,420 minutes of football. The Madrid club sit in sixth place in La Liga, which is outside the UEFA Champions League places and a cancellation could mean missing out on the elite European competition next season.

This would certainly mean the club wold miss out on further revenue, which could be troubling for the club. Playing Champions League football has been a staple for the club for a number of seasons now with the extra revenue being part of their budget. Niguez has spent his career at Atletico other than a season with Rayo Vallecano during the 2013/14 season.

United were once told that they would need to pay a club record fee to release the player from his contract, which at the time was about £128 million – a fee the club was not prepared to spend. However, it appears to no longer be the case. United took advantage of a deal for Bruno Fernandes because Sporting CP needed the money in January.

Niguez is represented by the same agent as Gareth Bale, Jonathan Barnett. This could give Premier League clubs, who would surely be able to fund the transfer of the 25-year-old an advantage if the player is to be sold this summer, or whenever the transfer window opens. United may be interested in a new midfielder if that was the case.

The future of Paul Pogba seems to be up in the air once again with report recently suggesting that the player would sign a new contract at the Old Trafford club but now the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus seem to be linked with the player once again with some suggesting that he still favours a move away from United.

Time will tell, but right now, United probably need to prioritise a replacement for Nemanja Matic which is a position that Niguez could operate in, especially in the fact that there seems to be many attacking-minded midfielders at the club now; Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Fred, other than Pogba himself. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be interested.

Saul Niguez and James Maddison at the top of Manchester United’s Wishlist – reports

Manchester United have reported selected Saul Niguez alongside James Maddison at the top of the list of potential recruits to strengthen and change the dynamic of the midfield at the club. Whether this is something that will happen during the January transfer remains to be seen but will seem more likely in the summer.

Reports surfaced this week which suggested that United would be seeking to sign six or seven players over the next two transfer windows, something which is needed at the club with the small squad of players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to select his teams, which have been lacklustre since the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Solskjaer needs to make improvement in many areas of the squad with targeted signing at centre-back, left-back, the midfield and in attack, presumably a striker and a right-winger. Moussa Dembele of Lyon has already been linked with the club since last summer with suggestions of Solskjaer seeking a striker to replace Romelu Lukaku.

Niguez, a 24-year-old central midfielder has been linked with United in the past and despite signing a new contract recently, keeping him at the club until 2026, which supposedly has a £135 million release clause, United do not seem to be put off at this moment in time. It could suggest that Paul Pogba’s future at the club is limited, or United are spending big.

Leicester City midfielder Maddison, 22, is also on the list of requirements, who suits the targeting of Solskjaer, who signed Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire in the summer, the three players in the squad who have performed the best this season, showing Solskjaer’s eye for the future and the fact the club is finally buying the right players.

United do need to get their recruitment right after now spending more than £800 million since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, also going through three different permanent managers; David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer seems to have been given time and despite reports about pressure, it does not come from within the club.

Niguez has played 249 times for Atletico Madrid up to the end of last season, scoring 34 goals, providing a lot more that that in the matches he has played. At the La Liga club, the player has won one Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de España, two UEFA Europa League titles, one UEFA Super Cup and was a runner-up in the UEFA Champions League.

The 24-year-old has achieved a lot in the game already and would be a worth player to fortify the clubs midfield, whether or not Pogba remains at the club. Surely, a costly transfer fee would demonstrate the fact that United wanted to get back into the thick of things in the Premier League and beyond? I just hope that the club backs the manager.

It would have been so much easier to ensure the manager had the players he wanted in the summer, but Rome was not build in a day. Solskjaer needed to allow the youth players to come through and see what they had to offer. Most of them are not ready, which is what we knew and the experience they will gain this season will be good for them.

Jan Oblak would join Manchester United if he was to leave Atletico Madrid – United would need to ensure David De Gea leaves though!

Manchester United are reportedly on ‘red alert’ after comments made by Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak amid the speculation that David De Gea will be leaving the Old Trafford club. De Gea’s current contract is into its last year after a clause was activated during the past season, meaning the player will be able to leave as a free agent next summer.

Earlier on Monday, it was reported by ESPN that Oblak, 26 was a boyhood United supporter and that he is open to a move to the Theatre of Dreams this summer. It is suggested that he is not happy with life at the Madrid club with Antoine Griezmann handing in a transfer request with the likes of Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Juanfran also leaving.

Oblak is linked to Paris Saint-Germain, who are also reported to be interested in signing De Gea. Oblak would prefer United over PSG, according to the report. Oblak has a release clause of £107 million, which would make him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. However, after Liverpool and Chelsea spent massive amounts on goalkeepers last summer, United will know it won’t be cheap to replace De Gea.

Obviously, De Gea will not be in a rush to leave United, being that he has a year left and would be in a better position as a free agent, which could end up with him earning better money. However, there were reports at the weekend which suggested United could pay De Gea £20 million to leave the club this summer, in order for the club to find stability, and make some money from his departure, which seems very likely.

If the player sees no future at United, then it would be best for him to move on as soon as possible. It could be a massive gamble if he remains at United as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wanting to get the team ticking again and if De Gea starts the new season in the same form in which he ended it, he could be benched by Sergio Romero, Lee Grant or even Dean Henderson.

Solskjaer might not even have him in his plans for the first team which could see De Gea playing in the U23s or even not playing any football at all, which would be unfair and unfortunate. However, United should not feel obliged to keep him as the first choice goalkeeper, as he clearly does not want to remain at the Old Trafford club. In my opinion, if this is the case, United will need to do all they can to get rid of him this summer.

Obviously, Oblak is not the only goalkeeper the club could move for. Gianluigi Donnarumma may need to be sold by AC Milan this summer and he has already been linked to the Old Trafford club for a fee of £53 million, which for a 20-year-old with his experience, would represent a good transfer fee. Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has also been linked, but he has been linked to the club before with nothing materialising.

Oblak would be an expensive signing but it would represent good value if he was to be one of the finishing pieces of the jigsaw which could see United, dramatically, rise from a poor season and show more fight and determination on the football pitch, especially against the teams who finished above them over the past season. Solskjaer will be wanting to get United kicking on again but does Ed Woodward?

That seems to be the question at the moment. We have all heard Woodward talk about the things that United can do in the transfer market which other clubs could only dream of. However, we have also seen other clubs, the ones that might only dream of such things, do so much better than United in the transfer market, which has been the case for many smaller clubs signing players, developing them just to sell on to bigger clubs.

Woodward must know that this summer is one which he needs to do his job or move over for someone with knowledge, ability, common sense and more importantly, some desire to see the poor standard of football become much better at the club. That is the real reason that Manchester United are a commercial organisation right now. Without the football, the business would be nothing. If I can see it, you can see it, why cannot Woodward and the Glazers see it?

Thomas Partey’s release clause to be activated by Manchester United – reports

Manchester United are reportedly going to activate the £43.5 million release clause of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. The report states that after Ander Herrera decided to leave the club as a free agent this summer, the Ghanian midfielder apparently fits the bill for United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Partey is contracted to the Madrid La Liga club until the summer of 2023, signing a contract extension back in March 2018. Inter Milan are also said to be interested in the 25-year-old and it is said that the players form during the 2018/19 season has also impressed Arsenal manager Unai Emery, however, does he have the budget to sign players like Partey, also needing to strengthen the clubs defence, which is also something Solskjaer will need to do at United, although he will have a much larger budget.

The release clause of Partey was revealed by his agent only a matter of days ago with the Manchester Evening News and the Daily Mail following up on the reports. The players’ agent, Daniel Jimenez spoke to Inter Milan website, Passione Inter confirming the release clause, which stands at €50 million, which is a cost-effective release clause for a player of his calibre. Jimenez said:

“I can say that right now, I haven’t talked to anyone, even if Inter are a top club.

“There’s a €50m release clause in his contract, a figure that’s cheap for a player like Thomas.

“We’ll wait for the season to end and then we’ll see.”

Obviously, when these quotes were reported, there had been no offers for the player, which has been stated by Jimenez. I find it hard to believe that a website in Ghana will have an exclusive suggesting that the release clause of the player will be met by an English club for a Ghanian player at a Spanish club. This is either a whim, which may or may not prove to be correct or it is clickbait. My suggestion would be the latter, however, the newspapers in England and Europe will probably carry these reports, allowing clicks to sites for the next few days.

Partey is a talented player and should be on the radar of the best clubs in Europe. There is a shortage of decent defensive midfielders, especially at United with only Nemanja Matic experienced in this role, and after the past season, it looks like he has lost his ability to run, however, it could have just been a dire season for him. United should not be resting on their laurels though – they should be looking for a replacement, preferably with experience. James Garner would be an option but with no first team experience, it would be a massive gamble to throw him in at the deep end and could hamper his development.

Personally, I would rather United targeted a player such as Wilfred Ndidi. An article was written about him at the weekend and he seems to be a popular player amongst the supporters of the Old Trafford club and he has Premier League experience, along with being one of the best defensive midfielders in the league last season. The only downfall is that Leicester City may not want to sell him, they do not need to either, which could see his price rise a lot higher than the release clause of Partey.

Antione Griezmann linked with Manchester United once again; would he be a player worth the gamble?

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has been linked with an exit from the La Liga club for some time now. Manchester United was a club hotly linked with the player in the summer of 2017 but a transfer ban meant that the player decided to remain in the Spanish capital. Last summer, a move to Barcelona was on the cards but a video released by the player eventually announced that he was staying.

This summer looks set to be another unpredictable one with the player as it is suggested that he could be on the move again. Third time lucky or what? Is Griezmann still a player that will obtain the interest of the elite clubs around Europe? This season he has been in good form, scoring 22 goals and 11 assists in 46 appearances for his club, in all competitions. Could he achieve figures similar playing in a different league though?

It has been reported in Spain that Griezmann would like to get a move to Barcelona back on the table. This has been reported in Mundo Deportivo, as reported by Sport Witness, also in AS. However, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde does not see Griezmann as a priority and the Barca supporters are said to not be all that keen on the player, presumably after his video last summer, which was a bit cringe-worthy, to say the least.

Embed from Getty Images

Griezmann currently has a €200 million release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract but on the 1 July 2019, that will reduce to €120 million, which is something that could attract other clubs in Europe, if they are in the market for another forward. It is obvious that the media, especially in Spain, would link United to Griezmann, who turns 28 in a few days time. Could United be interested in the player though? That is the question.

Currently, United have a lot of rebuilding to do in order to become the team they used to be. United scoring goals is a problem at times and the creation of goals has not been the best over the last two matches. Could there be some scope to add a player like Griezmann to their ranks? United need to strengthen many areas of their squad this summer but perhaps not in the form of a central striker.

Griezmann can play in a number of positions but has predominantly played as a central striker for Atletico Madrid this season, although he has, sparingly, played as a centre attacking midfielder, a right midfielder and a right-winger. However, that does not necessarily mean that he would or could solve any of United’s problems. United has players who are competent in the striker role, despite not scoring often enough.

Would a €120 million outlay be something that Ed Woodward would put up just to get another striker, which could add more problems for players such as Marcus Rashford, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Mason Greenwood into the team? Granted, Rashford is already a regular starter but his progress could be hampered by the arrival of Griezmann. It would only be logical if Romelu Lukaku wanted to leave the club this summer.

Embed from Getty Images

Woodward would probably be interested in signing a world-class player this summer but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested that superstar players are what the club should be targeting, which is something that I agree with. There are many teams out there that have world-class players in most, if not every position – that does not necessarily make them the best teams in the world.

Look at Paris Saint-Germain for instance. They have many great players but over the years, the UEFA Champions League has never been something the club has managed to grasp, exiting the round of 16 over the past three seasons (including this one) and reaching the quarter-finals the four seasons previous. Having great players is not always the recipe for success – throwing money at a problem isn’t either.

Solskjaer, if he is given the Manchester United job, which is something I believe should be the case, may choose to take things in a much different path for United. There are many teams out there that are bringing in lesser-known players who have certain skills and talents and these teams are developing these players. This is what United seems to have forgotten is all part of their DNA. For me, Griezmann can find another destinastion.

Manchester United see Diego Godin as a potential target this summer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld this summer. However, the fee Spurs demand for the Belgian is short of what United are prepared to pay for the player. There are other players on Mourinho’s wish list in this position but one player could be available for a bargain price this summer; Uruguay central defender Diego Godin. The Atletico Madrid defender could be available for a bargain price, giving value in the market.

Spanish daily, AS, reported the interest in the Uruguayan this summer as other targets will only be sold for massive transfer fees, something which United are clearly not interested in paying. The 32-year-old has been a key player for Atletico over the past few seasons, helping his club lift the UEFA Europa League title last season, a year after United lifted the trophy for the first time. The veteran defender has been performing in the FIFA World Cup for his country, winning their group with three victories and setting up a round of 16 clash with Portugal this weekend.

Godin has just one year remaining on his current contract at the Wanda Metropolitano and it is suggested that the player could be convinced to leave the club this summer amid interest from both United and Juventus. It is not suggested that United would make a move for Godin unless he expresses an interest in leaving Spain for pastures new. Juventus are reportedly in discussion with Atletico for Godin as they need to replace both Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli this summer.

Calciomercato in Italy have also confirmed that Godin has a €20 million release clause in his contract, so in terms of expense, it will be very little to both United and Juventus if Godin does leave the Spanish capital this summer. It is suggested by the Manchester Evening News that Mourinho is still very keen on signing Toby Alderweireld this summer, with the player having Premier League experience which could see him settle at United in much easier fashion over players from the continent.

Last season, Godin made 45 appearances for Atletico Madrid in all competitions, scoring one goal. The player has been an Atletico player for eight seasons, seeing his side lose two UEFA Champions League finals, winning one La Liga title, on Copa del Rey, one Supercopa de España, two UEFA Europa League titles and two UEFA Super Cups – seven major honours in his time at the Spanish club. For Uruguay, Godin has lifted the Copa America in 2011 which shows the experience he would give to a new club if he did leave Madrid this summer.

Godin has played 350 times for Atletico Madrid, scoring 28 goals. He played 116 times for Villarreal, scoring four goals before leaving for Madrid. Prior to playing in Spain, Godin made 64 appearances, scoring six goals for Cerro, also playing 46 times, scoring twice for Nacional in his native Uruguay. At international level, Godin has played 120 times for Uruguay, scoring eight goals in his 13-year career playing for his country.

Manchester United ‘reportedly’ leading the race for France forward

Manchester United are reportedly in the driving seat for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, at least according to John Cross of The Mirror. United were set to land the Frenchman during the summer but the fact that Atleti’s transfer ban was upheld saw the player remain with the Madrid club. Griezmann has ‘reportedly’ made it clear that he wants to leave the Madrid club with an £89 million release clause in his contract. Atleti are now seeking to sell the Frenchman as it may become a struggle to keep manager Diego Simeone.

United may still face competition with Real Madrid seemingly interested and Barcelona said to be interested in the player but with the signing of Philippe Coutinho this week, the Catalan club may remove their interest in the player. With the reluctance for Atleti to strengthen a cross-city rival, it would, according to the report, see United in the driving seat for the player, even though some of the media suggested United had ended interest for him, which could be true or false, meaning this report could be click bait on a slow news day.

£89 million would demonstrate good business, especially in the current market for a player such as Griezmann, but his form this season is not the same as last season. If Atleti can gain interest from a number of suitors they may be able to cause an auction for the player, seeing the fee increased for him but if a club activates his release clause, it may well be over in that instance. In a World Cup year, I am pretty sure that Griezmann would want his future sorted before the tournament in Russia starts, which would end all speculation, allowing his to concentrate for his country.

Signing Griezmann will not be so easy for United though, according to The Sun as they report the player will demand £400,000 per week to sign for the Old Trafford club. Which if true would not make him look like a mercenary at all! For a player to even think about demanding that sort of money on a weekly basis, especially having a much poorer season than last, is laughable. The fact it comes from The Sun makes me laugh even more. They probably got the report from Don Balon like the rest of the rumours they publish. The Sun carry quotes from a supposed source, saying:

“The goalposts have moved significantly since the first attempt to sign Griezmann. The package offered last year which was agreed is now a lot less than what he wants next summer. It might be too much even for us to afford. The club is desperate to sign him but it is an awful lot of money. His people are making different demands which the club might be reluctant to give in to.”

This season in La Liga, despite Atletico Madrid’s resurgence, currently sitting second in the league some nine points adrift of Barcelona, it has not been a great season for Griezmann. The Frenchman has made 15 appearances in the league, scoring five goals. Griezmann has created 24 chances for his teammates, also boasting a shot accuracy of 66%. His passing accuracy stands at 79%, which is not the best, averaging a distance of 15 metres per pass. Defensively, Griezmann averages at least one defensive action per match, which may fit in at United.

In the UEFA Champions League, Griezmann has played in all six matches, scoring two goals. He has created seven chances for his teammates and has a shot accuracy of 31%, which is poor by his standards. His passing accuracy stands at 84%, which is higher than in La Liga, also averaging a pass length of 14 metres, slightly lower than in the league. Griezmann still averages at least one defensive action per match in the elite European competition. However, he will be playing in the UEFA Europa League during the second half of the season.

I don’t think Griezmann will move clubs this month but in the summer it is all very likely. Atleti have brought Diego Costa back to the club and he has played his first football this season, already scoring goals for his club and earning a suspension on his La Liga debut. It may all change in the second half of the season, depending on how Atleti does but in the summer, a move away will beckon. Whether that is to Manchester, Barcelona or further afield, we shall wait and see.

Manchester United to finally sign Antoine Griezmann in the summer?

Manchester United have reported seen their chances to sign Antoine Griezmann raise after Atletico Madrid welcome to return of former Chelsea striker Diego Costa, which was confirmed on Tuesday evening, the player not being eligible to play until after the 1st January 2018, when the club’s transfer ban has been served. Griezmann was linked to United in the summer, the ban not being lifted which resulted in the French forward remaining in the Spanish capital for another season.

The fee for Griezmann will remain at €100 million, the release clause for the player, despite signing a new contract earlier in the summer. ESPN report that ‘sources’ have told them United will be looking to go on another summer spending spree in the FIFA World Cup year, securing their attacking line with another world-class player, which could devastate their Premier League rivals, if all goes to plan.

France international Griezmann will face Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano, will be a player many United supporters keep their eye on this season, as a move seems to be touted in the media, seemingly making many think Jose Mourinho has the signing in the bag already, which is a bit presumptuous. Mourinho did identify the player as a key target ahead of the summer, the transfer ban effectively scuppering the deal. Griezmann could have left, but he would not have been replaced, staying loyal to his club for another season.

Atletico Madrid claimed it would have been a ‘dirty move’ for the player to leave last summer, which is something I would agree with. United made a U-Turn, distancing themselves from the Frenchman after the news of the transfer ban being upheld broke, seemingly the media thinking the player’s reluctance to leave Atleti being one of the possible reasons for the U-Turn. Nothing making it clear as to the reason why. I am sure it will be speculated that an agreement for a year’s time was agreed instead, although there has been no clarification on that.

ESPN has suggested that sources have suggested United’s interest in Griezmann was shelved, rather than ceased, which could mean the interest could be revived in the summer, maybe even January, but that is unlikely. Griezmann did sign a new one-year extension to his contract, on condition that the €100 million release clause would remain in the contract, which could mean his path to Manchester could already be something which is being discussed, ready for a swift summer move as the World Cup will give little waiting time, especially with the transfer window in England closing before the Premier League season starts.

United have done well for themselves this summer, prioritising the signing of Romelu Lukaku over Griezmann, which also saw United have ‘passing’ interest in Alvaro Morata, who ended up signing for Chelsea after a potential move to Old Trafford was scuppered with the arrival of Lukaku, a former Chelsea player. Mourinho also re-signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a one-year contract, which will end at the end of the current season, although the player is on the sidelines recovering from the knee injury which ended his season in April, meaning he missed the UEFA Europa League final.

Next season, Ibrahimovic may not be part of the picture for United, his goals and winning mentality needing to be replaced, with Griezmann seemingly the player Mourinho may choose, which could also see the famous number seven shirt be occupied, the last occupant being Memphis Depay, who left for Lyon during the January transfer window.

copyright: JW