Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezman has denied that he contacted Jose Mourinho last summer amid continued reports linking him with a move to Manchester United.
Various media outlets in Spain have claimed that Man United, having failed to secure the Frenchman last summer, will take advantage of Atletico reducing his release clause to around £90m over the transfer window.
Griezmann was on the cusp of moving to Old Trafford back in June but decided to remain loyal to Diego Simeone in the wake of Atletico’s transfer ban being overruled.
And when asked whether he spoke to Mourinho to explain his decision last summer, Griezmann replied: “No, no, no. No, that’s totally made up. False. It was my decision. I communicated it to the club. That’s it,” he said in July. “I have stayed mainly because of the transfer ban. Atletico needed me now more than ever and I felt I had to stay.
“It would be dirty to leave. I wouldn’t have been myself, or the person that I feel I am today, if I had left this club in that way.”
The 26-year-old may have not spoken with Mourinho last summer but his intentions were clear: he wanted to find a new club.
Griezmann deserves credit for remaining loyal to the club that propelled him to international stardom and would, no doubt, do it again under the same circumstances.
But with the Frenchman struggling for goals at Atletico – he has two in his last nine La Liga appearances – and Diego Costa and Vitolo joining the club in January, you can’t help but feel as if a move away next summer is more or less inevitable.