After a dismal season where Manchester United broke all sorts of unwanted records, the club was expected to support new manager Erik ten Hag in the transfer market.
Five permanent signings ended up arriving at a cost of more than £200million with the Dutch boss preferring to strengthen the spine of the team.
At that point, the club were also on the lookout for strikers due to the uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
United spoke to Griezmann
One of those forwards was Antoine Griezmann with Sky Sports revealing that the Frenchman was “flattered” with the interest United showed in him.
The report mentioned that the United hierarchy spoke to the France international’s entourage while trying to conclude the Casemiro deal.
Man Utd made a check on Antoine Griezmann in August to gauge the possibility of signing him while John Murtough was in Madrid to formalise a deal for Casemiro [@MelissaReddy_] #mufc pic.twitter.com/l1ujjtQYbv
— Manchester United Red Devils News (@Ammadutd) January 23, 2023
The talk was prompted by the forward’s strange situation at Atletico Madrid, where he was on loan from Barcelona, which arose to a clause in his loan contract.
The contract stated that Atletico would have to buy him outright for €40m (£35.2m) should he play half of the minutes he was available for.
Diego Simeone, at that point, was playing him as a substitute and bringing him on only after the 60-minute mark. Griezmann was desperately trying to force a move to the Madrid club.
“Manchester United sought dialogue with Antoine Griezmann and his representative last summer to gauge the possibility of signing the France international.
“When football director John Murtough and recruitment consultant Tom Keane flew to Spain to formalise a deal for Casemiro in August 2022, they made calls to arrange a meeting with Griezmann’s camp in Madrid to understand his situation and feelings around a transfer to Old Trafford.
United unlikely to revisit interest
“While he was flattered by the club’s interest and considers the Premier League a challenge, Griezmann’s priority was making his transfer to Atleti permanent,” the Sky report detailed.
In the end, he got his wish and made a permanent return to the Wanda Metropolitano. But United are still looking at adding a striker next summer but it is unlikely that it will be Griezmann.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, “He loves Atletico, he reduced his salary for Atletico so I don’t see any big change any time soon, for sure not in January.”
Though as Sky pointed out, the French World Cup star might reconsider his options should Diego Simeone leave the club, which might be on the cards ahead of next summer.
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