Sunday 8 December 2019

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal given boost in bid to land Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann

Manchester United have been given a boost in their hopes of landing Antoine Griezmann, after Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone admitted the club cannot guarantee keeping hold of their star man.

The forward has long been admired by Manchester United, as well as Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

He has scored 43 times in 81 appearances since joining Atletico in 2014 and is under contract until 2020.

However, Simeone has admitted that Atletico could receive an offer that they cannot refuse.

“The sporting directors have been speaking to him directly, with those close to him, in order to work out what’s best for him and the club," said Simeone.

“Of course he’s a very important player for us, but we can’t hold him here with chains.”

Griezmann himself, however, says he is happy in Madrid.

"I am feeling very well at Atletico," he told French publication Telefoot.

"This is a big club and I want to achieve great things here. I am ambitious and my goal is to win trophies here."

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal reportedly wants Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez to solve his defensive crisis.

According to the Sun, United have sent scouts to watch the £20million-rated Swiss defender twice recently and he is high on Van Gaal’s wishlist.

Rodriguez is also wanted by Real Madrid, but his German club are keen to keep hold of him if possible.

On the subject of Van Gaal, when he is not identifying players to sign, he is apparently considering whether to walk out of Old Trafford and not return.

The Dutchman is on the brink of quitting United after admitting he has let the fans down, reports the Sun.

His side were booed off after yet another lacklustre defeat at home to Southampton on Saturday and enough could be enough.

“I’m very disappointed that I cannot reach the expectations of the fans," said Van Gaal yesterday.

“They have — or they had — great expectations of me and I cannot fulfil them. So I am very frustrated because of that.”

Lastly, United have been linked with a £60m move for teenage Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches with a possible move touted to take place this month.

Sanches has scored twice in 11 league appearances in the Portuguese top flight, the teenager has also netted three goals in six Champions League games.

Asked his thoughts on the rumours, former United striker Michael Owen said he wasn't surprised to hear of such a big transfer fee.

Owen told BT Sport: “It’s a standard fee for a transfer.”

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