Some surprising news has emerged today, as it appears Manchester United have made an about face in their pursuit of Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. Reports in The Telegraph, The Guardian, ESPN FC, and the Manchester Evening News all say that United are longer interested in signing the French forward this summer.
Supposedly, the reason for the change of heart on United’s part is related to Zlatan Ibrahimović’s long-term injury. Instead of moving for a withdrawn attacker in the shape of Griezmann, United will instead turn their attention to signing a replacement for Ibrahimović to spearhead their attack.
Someone in United’s camp has clearly briefed the media of the club’s intention to sign a number 9 instead of a number 10, although the reasons for not being able to do both are not clear. United are not exactly short of a few quid at the moment. All the stories today state that United may still move for Griezmann in the future, but it seems that someone wants it made clear that it is not happening this summer.
With Griezmann no longer a priority, United will look to fill the Zlatan-sized hole in the team with Romelu Lukaku or Alvaro Morata.
The timing of this news is extremely curious, as it coincides with Atleti losing their appeal to have their summer transfer ban overturned. No longer able to sign a replacement (sorry, Lacazette), Atleti are likely far more reluctant to sanction a sale of their prized asset.