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Sunday 23 July 2017

Man Utd target Antoine Griezmann indicates he will stay at Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann has pledged his commitment to Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann has pledged his commitment to Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann has pledged his commitment to Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann on Thursday evening pledged his commitment to Atletico Madrid, after it emerged Manchester United's interest in a summer move for the France forward had cooled.

The 26-year-old - linked with a host of Europe's top clubs - took to social media to indicate that he will remain at Atletico, writing (in Spanish): "Now more than ever #Atleti #Alltogether" alongside a photo of him celebrating while playing for the Spanish club.

Griezmann's vow came just hours after Atletico's appeal against a FIFA transfer ban until January 2018 was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning they would not be able to replace him if he left.

Press Association Sport understands United intend to bring in three or four high-quality additions this summer, but Griezmann had slipped down their list of targets.

Jose Mourinho's side are determined to launch a Premier League title challenge next term after securing Champions League qualification by beating Ajax in last week's Europa League final.

While their admiration for Griezmann was clear, finding 100 million euros (£87million) to meet his buyout looked a big ask as Mourinho's men attempt to bring in, among other positions, an out-and-out striker with Zlatan Ibrahimovic having possibly played his last match for the club.

The 35-year-old Swede sustained serious knee ligament damage in the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht in April, and his contract expires this summer.

Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola does not know where the veteran will be playing next season - and another of his clients could well be the man to fill the void.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku has been strongly linked with United and former club Chelsea. The Belgium international has two years left on his existing deal at Goodison Park and has refused to sign a new contract.

"Lukaku had a promise that if certain clubs came this summer that he could leave this summer," Raiola told talkSPORT.

"We are not in concrete talks with anybody at this moment, but hearing the market I think some clubs will contact Everton.

"If the price is right for Everton and the project is right for Lukaku then I think he will want to make another step, but we are not there yet."

Torino striker Andrea Belotti is another player that has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, so too Alvaro Morata - although a move for the Spain international could be problematic given Real Madrid's interest in David De Gea.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper's consistent performances have led to admiring glances from the Spanish capital, with Real interested in signing a player they come close to buying in 2015.

A deal worth £29million plus Keylor Navas was agreed but the relevant paperwork was not completed before the deadline, with the goalkeeper instead signing a new four-year deal with an option to extend it by a season.

Press Association Sport understands United feel well placed to hold onto De Gea this summer, with reports of a bid from Real just days before Saturday's Champions League final against Juventus believed to be wide of the mark.

Press Association

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