Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has claimed that Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann regrets not taking the opportunity to join Manchester United over the summer.
The Frenchman appeared to be on the verge of a move to Man United soon after they secured Champions League football for this season, with some reports claiming the move would be completed by the end of June.
However, the entire dynamic changed when Atletico’s transfer ban – which rules they cannot register new players until January – was upheld, meaning Diego Simeone would not be able to replace him.
The Frenchman decided to remain loyal to the cause at Atletico, but Balague believes he will attempt to force through a move to Old Trafford in the near future.
“He is with a team which has played in Champions League finals and also won the league recently – more recently than Manchester United – so he is already at one of the top teams in Europe,” he said.
“He is playing with the fans and he will continue to do that with teasing messages but it is quite clear he will consider a move to Old Trafford next summer.
“Quite clearly, he was determined to go to Manchester United and it’s just the fact he didn’t want to let Atletico Madrid down while they couldn’t sign anyone that made him decide to stay. He had made his mind up to go to Old Trafford though, so we will see what happens as 12 months is a long time.”
Griezmann put the interests of Atletico ahead of his own, and he deserves immense praise for that. But you cannot help but feel as if, deep down, he regrets letting the boat leave without him, so to speak – especially after a weekend where he was sent off for supposedly calling the referee a “f*****g bottler” during a 2-2 draw with Girona whilst United, over in Wales, sent another massive statement of intent to the Premier League.
The transfer appeared to be all but done and dusted, but Mourinho, all of a sudden, switched his emphasis towards signing an all-out striker, targeting Andrea Belotti and Alvaro Morata before eventually signing Romelu Lukaku.
Whether United will re-open their interest in the Frenchman next summer, with Atletico’s ban lifted, is an interesting prospect indeed. He did, after all, have his heart set on Old Trafford at one point.