Monday 23 April 2018

United cool interest in Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba
Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba

James Ducker

Manchester United have cooled their interest in France striker Antoine Griezmann in order to prioritise the signing of a target man in the wake of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's cruciate knee ligament injury.

It a significant turn of events given the extensive groundwork United put in on Griezmann over the past six months.

Torino's Andrea Belotti, Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata, of Real Madrid, are among players with whom United have been linked. Cristiano Ronaldo also continues to be linked with a return to Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic is not certain to play again this year after rupturing the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee during the Europa League quarter-final clash with Anderlecht at Old Trafford on April 20.

Manager Jose Mourinho had set his sights on signing Griezmann from Atletico Madrid after identifying the need for a pedigree striker to play off Ibrahimovic, but sources close to United have confirmed that their priorities changed over the course of the past month following the Swede's long-term lay-off.

News of the Griezmann developments filtered out barely an hour after it was confirmed that Atletico had lost their appeal to have a transfer ban preventing them from signing players this summer lifted.

United were prepared to meet the €100m (£87m) release clause in Griezmann's contract but, having spent months setting up a deal, they have now been forced to look elsewhere. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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