Sunday 23 July 2017

Jose Mourinho hands Antoine Griezmann transfer over to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Jose Mourinho, new manager of Manchester United, is shown round the Aon Training Complex by Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward at Aon Training Complex on May 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Jose Mourinho, new manager of Manchester United, is shown round the Aon Training Complex by Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward at Aon Training Complex on May 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said that he will hand over the responsibility of acquiring summer transfer target Antoine Griezmann to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

United have been linked with the Atletico Madrid forward for several months but Mourinho told Sky Sports on Saturday that luring the 26-year-old to Old Trafford next season would be Woodward's responsibility and that he plans on taking a break from football over the summer.

"He knows since March, who I want, what I want, how much I want," said Mourinho.

"He knows everything since March and now it's for him to work because he will have holidays in August and I will be working.

"I'm really happy with our season, I'm really happy with the trophies, I'm really happy to be back in the Champions League but now it's the time for me to have a rest, to disconnect completely, to do other things.

"To enjoy my family and my friends and some other sports I love and forget football, I need that."

Despite telling French television that he rated his chances of moving to Manchester United a 'six out of ten' earlier this week, Griezmann poured some cold water on the speculation linking him to Old Trafford tweeting that the rumours concerning his future were unfounded.

His tweet translated as: “All the rumours are unfounded, I’m always Colchonero. My direction will be established after discussions with my sporting advisors.”

This will come as another unwanted setback for the club’s board, who are desperate to dodge another drawn-out transfer saga like the one they went through to bring Paul Pogba to Old Trafford last summer.

As well as Griezmann, Mourinho also wants Torino’s Andrea Belotti to play just in front of the 26-year-old, although that might involve also paying a buy-out clause of around £85m if they cannot agree a deal with the Italian club, and the chances of that are seen as “50-50”.

The signing of Burnley’s Michael Keane is seen as much likelier, with the former United centre-half having said to friends that it is his probable destination.

Mourinho also wants a midfielder to complement and help release Pogba. There is long-term interest in Paris St-Germain’s Blaise Matuidi as well as Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko, but Chelsea are expected to complete the signing of the latter.

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