Tuesday 19 September 2017

Manchester United stars urge the club to sign Antoine Griezmann but Atletico expect him to stay

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 12: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Leicester City at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 12, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 12: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Leicester City at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 12, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United are expected to make a formal offer to sign France striker Antoine Griezmann in the coming days, even though his club Atletico Madrid have moved to cool reports of an imminent move for their star striker.

Griezmann has distanced himself from links with United in recent months, despite constant speculation that a tentative deal to take him to Old Trafford has been in place for several months.

However, the 26-year-old striker has been a little more open about the chances of him moving to Manchester in recent days, and even suggested there was a six out of ten chance he would make the move to United in his latest interview on French television that suggested he wanted to join a club that would help him to win trophies.

Now the Daily Telegraph are reporting that Griezmann will join United, even though Atletico president Enrique Cerezo believes the Frenchman does not want to leave his club.

“There has been no approach from Manchester United and nobody has offered to pay the clause and I don’t think anyone will,” he told Radio RMC, referring to the £85m release clause.

“The situation is that Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player and he has a contract until 2021. Never has he told me that he wants to leave.

“I am not surprised by his statements when every day of the last few months, journalists ask him the same question.

“I believe he feels a little annoyed to have to always respond with the same when everyone knows the situation.”

If Griezmann’s recent comments are a guide, Mr Cerezo may get a different answer if he asks his star player to discuss his future plans in the coming days and it is clear that United’s key players would welcome his arrival this summer.

“Griezmann is a brilliant player, a phenomenon,” United midfielder Ander Herrera told Cadena Ser after his man-of-the-match display in his side’s Europa League final win against Ajax on Wednesday.

“He is a star and all the teams in the world would want him. However, Griezmann is still an Atletico Madrid player and I respect Atletico and their fans.

“I’ve said it in the past, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he is in that group of those that can become their possible successors."

United midfielder Juan Mata echoed those sentiments, as he backed his club’s bid to sign Griezmann.

“Griezmann is a great player and I like great players. He has quality, he gets goals,” he said.

“I don’t know him but he seems like a good person. I don’t know what will happen but of course I like him.”

Meanwhile, Griezmann has posed for a photo with a United fan outside an Irish bar in Boston - reportedly after watching United win the Europa League final - in an image that we may get used to if he makes the move to link up with Jose Mourinho’s team.

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