In the temporary, impatient and thoroughly ridiculous world of football transfers, nothing can ever be certain until a player holds up the jersey in front of a gaggle of photographers. Every summer, you’ll see rumours of interest, firm of otherwise regarding a player moving clubs, and far too often, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. When it comes to Manchester United, and the incredible size of their fanbase, interest in transfers takes on a whole other dimension, making discerning the transfer facts from transfer fiction all the more difficult.
One particular rumour that has swirled around the club constantly over the last year or so is the possibility of Antoine Griezmann making the move from Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford. The sums discussed would be gigantic, somewhere in the region of £80m, but as time goes by, it starts to feel more and more like Griezmann may be joining Manchester United rather than Chelsea who have also been linked with his signing several times recently. Here’s why:
1 – Paul Pogba
Pogba and Griezmann have made no secret of their friendship, and just this week, the Atleti striker is quoted as saying:
“I always ask Paul Pogba about Manchester United,” said Griezmann when talking to Sky Sports Germany.
“I think they are a huge club with a really good infrastructure. I ask Paul about some of the players, and if they’re really that good, or if Jose Mourinho is really that good.
Both regularly post photos together on social media, and Griezmann will be particularly aware of the effect of openly lauding United as a club given the speculation that surrounds him.
2 – He could be a big part of Jose Mourinho’s plans
These are very much the early stages of Jose Mourinho’s grand scheme to turn United’s fortunes around, and he arguably has several key components already in place in the shape of Pogba, David De Gea and Ander Herrera. A player of Griezmann’s quality would fit wonderfully across the front three that the Portuguese tends to favour, and the Frenchman could arguably slot into a position out wide or centrally. Mourinho might prefer specialists, but Griezmann’s quality is hardly diminished in either role.
3 – He’s a United fan
Of course, if Griezmann were born and brought up in Salford, the pull of playing for United would be far stronger than it currently is, but it’s worth noting that the former Real Sociedad player follows the Red Devils. Given the current French-speaking contingent at the club currently includes Anthony Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin and Eric Bailly, he’s likely to have no trouble settling in to life in the North West, either.