Antoine Griezmann asks to leave Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid he wants to leave this summer, according to reports in Spain.
Atletico Madrid correspondent Antonio Ruiz, who reports on Diego Simeone’s side on a regular basis, revealed on Tuesday afternoon that Griezmann had notified the club’s top brass of his decision.
News of his decision will delight Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Mourinho, who is currently taking a break from football, has instructed Woodward of the players he wants at United by the time the new season is under way.
And Frenchman Griezmann is at the top of the Portuguese tactician’s shopping list with the former Real Madrid boss desperate to add a potent finisher to his ranks.
Griezmann was expected to prolong his stay at Atletico in order to play in the famous white and red strip at their new stadium however, it seems like he has decided to push for a move.
No matter how much he pushes, however, his club are likely to resist unless Manchester United pay his full buy-out clause. And if Atletico Madrid are told by FIFA they cannot register new players this summer then it will further complicate his switch to Old Trafford.
Atletico expect to learn on Thursday if their two-year ban on transfers has been lifted. They have already served the first year and will be free to strengthen if their ban is halved on appeal as Real Madrid’s ban has been.
Coach Diego Simeone will accept Griezmann’s departure if the club can bring in new signings to compensate.
Manchester City’s Nolito, Malaga’s former Barcelona forward Sandro Ramirez who is also wanted by Everton and Sevilla attacker Vitolo are all poised to make a move to Madrid’s second club if the are allowed to register signings.
Simeone will also insist on a big signing to fill Griezmann’s boots and the club are likely to push for Chelsea’s Diego Costa if they lose their leading scorer.
Such big spending will see them demand every penny of Griezmann’s 100million euros buy-out clause, especially as they could owe the Frenchman’s former club Real Sociedad as much as 20 per cent of any fee they receive for him.
Atletico have continued to brief that Griezmann wants to stay and his representatives were in discussions with Atletico about renewing his contract when hints that he might want to leave began to appear last week.
The 26-year-old, who joined Atletico in 2014 from Real Sociedad, scored 16 La Liga goals for Simeone’s men this season.
Griezmann has failed to win the title at Atletico but has won the Spanish Super Cup and finished as runner-up in the Champions League.
Manchester United will have to fork out north of £80million if they are to land their man despite his decision.
He will link up with close friend Paul Pogba if he is to move to the Red Devils this summer.
Pogba hinted Griezmann could join United by replicating the forward’s celebration after winning the Europa League.
The world’s most expensive player captioned the video ‘is that you?’ and Griezmann, who said a move to United is six out of 10 likely to happen, liked Pogba’s post.
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