Manchester United were dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann yesterday as Atletico Madrid’s president, Enrique Cerezo, confirmed he will be staying.
Speaking to Marca, per the Daily Mail, he said: “Griezmann will stay here. Not here at the [Vicente] Calderon, but at the Wanda [Metropolitano].”
Griezmann has persistently insisted he is going nowhere this summer and he appeared to reinforce that notion by posting a picture with Alexandre Lacazette on Instagram yesterday.
Lacazette has been heavily linked with a big-money move to Atletico this summer, which his France teammate is clearly relishing.
Check out Griezmann’s post – and Lacazette’s response – below.
GRIEZMANN & LACAZETTE’S BROMANCE
Losing out on Griezmann wouldn’t be the end of the world for United and Jose Mourinho, of course, with Gareth Bale and Kylian Mbappe also reported targets.
Of those three, Bale is the most likely to join having endured a frustrating and injury-plagued season under Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
And Mourinho is said to be confident of signing the Wales international, too, depending on whether he starts Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus.
According to Spanish reports, should Bale start on the bench, United believe they will have a ‘great’ chance of luring him from the Bernabeu.
A busy summer certainly awaits and the Mirror claim Mourinho and Ed Woodward have a clever system in place to ensure they make four key signings.
James Robson explains how Mourinho has Woodward working to a ‘pyramid’ structure that features primary summer targets for each of the four positions (centre-back, full-back, central midfield and upfront) and alternatives should they fail.
For example, if United don’t end up signing Griezmann, they now have a ‘pyramid’ of backups that they will work down, including Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti.
Mourinho wants to sign at least four players and will go to extreme lengths to ensure that is the case come the beginning of September.
Fortunately for the Portuguese manager, he will be given the funds he needs to make any improvements to United’s squad.
Gary Neville has previously claimed Mourinho has a £200 million warchest, while Guillem Balague believes it could be over £300 million. Exciting stuff.