After weeks of speculation, the rumors linking Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United look to finally be coming to fruition. According to Tribal Football, the two sides have come to a financial agreement. Former FIFA accredited agent Vincent Rodriguez tweeted that the financial terms have been agreed upon and that the deal is near completion with more news to be released in the near future.
Since signing from Real Sociedad in 2014, the 26-year old Frenchman has developed into one of the deadliest strikers in European football. In 153 games for Atletico, he has scored 82 goals, with no less than 25 goals scored in an individual season. Griezmann is just the latest of a long line of profilic strikers that have played for Los Colchoneros before making big-money moves. The likes of Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao, and Diego Costa all established themselves at the club before moving to Premier League sides, and in the case of Falcao, Monaco.
Other clubs who have shown interest in signing Griezmann were Real Madrid, Paris-Saint Germain, and Barcelona. With Griezmann’s contract containing an £84 million release clause, only a handful of clubs can afford to activate it. His agent recently denied the PSG speculation and despite the rumors, he says that Griezmann wants to stay at Atletico. There is an existing clause of €100m, which is unavoidable. We’re thinking right now about the most suitable offer. Real Madrid and other clubs are part of this thinking process,” he said. “Antoine doesn’t want to leave the club at any cost. That is false.”
Even if the United deal does go through, it is evident that Griezmann is tired of talking about his future. After Atletico’s 1-0 win against Espanyol, he stormed out of the post-match interview, saying “That’s it, I’ve already spoken. I do not want to talk any more.” He also ruled out a move to Real Madrid recently. “I’m happy at Atletico and hopefully I can stay here,” said Griezmann. “We always believe, even if we have a minute left, that we can win. We’re very well physically, you could see that we finished the game better than Madrid. Interest from Madrid? I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You never know what can happen in football, but moving from Atletico to Real, I don’t know if it’s achievable. Very few players have done so. For this reason, I think it’s dead.” Atletico and Real have a gentleman’s agreement regarding the signing of activation clause equipped players although Real is likely to break it with the signing of defender Theo Hernandez.