Tuesday 24 October 2017

Man United told Antoine Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid as they look for three high-profile signings

Cerezo expects Griezmann to lead the line at their new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium next season. Getty
Cerezo expects Griezmann to lead the line at their new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium next season. Getty

Jack Austin

Manchester United will be disappointed in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann according to Atletico Madrid’s president, who claims the forward will stay at the club this summer.

Griezmann is one of three high-profile summer signings wanted by Jose Mourinho having instructed Ed Woodward to push ahead with an £86.7m move for the Frenchman.

However, Atleti president Enrique Cerezo has denied that this move will happen and instead insisted that Griezmann will be leading the line when the club play their first game at their new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium next season.

“Griezmann will stay here,” he told Spanish sports daily Marca. “Not here at the Calderon, but at the Wanda.”

Cerezo’s comments corroborate Griezmann’s comments on Twitter last week, when the 26-year-old labelled all the “rumours” about his future as “unfounded”.

United are desperate to dodge another drawn-out transfer sage like the one they experienced last summer with Paul Pogba, and these comments will not go down well amongst the United hierarchy, who believed they could complete the deal by as early as the end of June.

Griezmann is key to United’s transfer strategy as the first of three major signings Mourinho wants to arrive at Old Trafford this summer.

As well as the Frenchman, Mourinho also wants Torino’s Andrea Belotti to play just in front of him, 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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