Wednesday 26 April 2017

Manchester United 'increasingly confident' of signing Antoine Griezmann - but Luke Shaw set for exit

Griezmann and (inset) Luke Shaw
Griezmann and (inset) Luke Shaw

Miguel Delaney

Manchester United are increasingly confident of signing Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in the summer - for what could be another world-record fee - although Luke Shaw is almost certain to be on his way out of Old Trafford at the same time, with Jose Mourinho frustrated at the left-back's lack of development.

Intermediaries representing Griezmann and United have been talking for several months, and the Euro 2016 top scorer is said to be extremely keen on the move, with the chance to link up with international teammate Paul Pogba only making it more enticing. The principles of any prospective deal have already been verbally agreed, including weekly wage and prospective shirt number.

United would likely have to match Griezmann's buy-out clause, that is set at €100m. Complicating the transfer, however, is that Atletico are currently serving a transfer ban and are still waiting on the Court of Arbitration for Sport to decide on whether they will be able to buy and sell players this summer.

If they are, Atletico will revive their interest in Diego Costa - as reported by The Independent on Monday - as a potential replacement for Griezmann.

United will meanwhile be open to offers for Shaw. The 21-year-old has only made 13 appearances for the club this season, with none in the league since 29 October and none in any competition since the 30 November League Cup win over West Ham United.

Mourinho is said to have become frustrated with Shaw's lack of progress in what the manager is trying to do with the team, and that has even led to some senior first-team players speaking to the young defender privately.

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United will listen to offers in the summer, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur - depending on Danny Rose's future - earmarked as potential buyers, although it remains to be seen whether United would sell to a rival.

Shaw has not yet been completely written off, and could yet turn his situation around, but those close to the squad saw he has a lot of convincing to do.

United are unlikely to make any signings in this window, with Mourinho impressed with how the majority of players have been performing, although Memphis Depay could well leave before 31 January. Lyon feel they have made a breakthrough in their pursuit of the player.

(© Independent News Service)

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