Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has responded to the rumours linking Antoine Griezmann with a move to Manchester United by jokingly labelling us as a small club.
Griezmann is all set to be this summer’s transfer saga for Man United fans and it has started in earnest following a January which was littered with reports linking the Frenchman with a move to Old Trafford.
Having sold plenty of stars in the past, Atletico have built a fierce reputation on being able to replace and regenerate but Cerezo is taking a stiff upper lip to the current rumours surrounding Griezmann and Man United.
“Griezmann to Manchester? *small laugh* Small club,” Cerezo joked to Spanish TV station Antena 3 this week.
“But don’t blame me for a striker leaving like all the others in the past.
“I’ve been blamed for Sergio Agüero, Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan, Diego Costa and now Antoine Griezmann. Who’s next?”
Atletico’s ability to rebuild and renew after letting their biggest players go is phenomenal, so it’s a case of when and not if Griezmann leaves as far as history is concerned. That being said, they won’t let him go lightly and United will more than likely have to pay his €100m release clause.
As for Cerezo’s comments, they remind me immediately of Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke who was affronted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to United before, during and after it happened. Cerezo’s playground jokes about United sound like a man who has already conceded Griezmann will leave, especially his comment about not taking any blame if another striker did leave.
Jose Mourinho wanted four players in the summer. He went out and got all four. Griezmann is more than likely going to be the fifth player he wants and with Atletico’s current financial situation, United are in a strong position to make that five out of five for Mourinho.