Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images
March 20, 2017
Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann has ruled out a transfer away from Atletico Madrid during the summer, amid rumours Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are tracking the forward.
The France international made the comments during a recent interview with L’Equipe (h/t Sport Witness’ Tom Coast):
Tom Coast @thcoast
Antoine Griezmann about a move to #PSG this summer: “No. I don’t want to leave Atlético, go to Paris, China, USA, Russia or anywhere else.”
3/20/2017, 3:56:46 PM
As reported by Anthony Jepson of the Manchester Evening News, both United and PSG are on a long list of potential suitors that also includes Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
No club has been linked with the 25-year-old more than the Red Devils, however. Rumours have been persistent since the start of the season, and by the January transfer window, many fans and pundits believed a transfer was inevitable.
Sportswriter Liam Canning was one of them:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
I think it is fairly inevitable that, even without possible Champions League football to offer, Antoine Griezmann will be a Man Utd player.
2/1/2017, 11:45:00 PM
Speculation has died down significantly since January, however, and both Griezmann and Atletico have cast serious doubt on a move. Club president Enrique Cerezo previously told Cadena COPE (h/t Sky Sports) he sincerely doubted the Frenchman would leave the club, saying, “I believe in the contracts that people sign.”
The Rojiblancos are about to move into a new stadium, and in all likelihood, they’d like to have their biggest star around for that. A normal sale seems out of the question, but Griezmann’s contract contains a buyout clause―mandatory in La Liga―and United could force Atletico’s hand that way.
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images
There won’t be any transfer if Griezmann doesn’t want to leave the Spanish capital, however. The former Real Sociedad man has blossomed into one of the world’s best forwards under manager Diego Simeone, and it’s easy to see why he’d prefer to keep that working relationship going.
Here’s a look at some of his highlights:
This transfer saga will likely dominate the summer, as the links will undoubtedly persist, despite Griezmann’s comments. The player seems determined to stay with Atletico, however, so United and PSG better start scouting other forwards.