MANCHESTER UNITED TRANSFER NEWS: Antonio Griezmann inquiries in the summer but the striker preferred to stay at Atletico Madrid | Transport Center News

Manchester United sought dialogue with Antoine Griezmann and his representative last summer to gauge the possibility of signing the France international, Sky Sports can reveal EXCLUSIVELY.

When director of football John Murtaugh and recruitment consultant Tom Keane traveled to Spain to formalize the Casemiro deal in August 2022, they made calls to arrange a meeting with Griezmann’s camp in Madrid to understand his situation and his feelings about moving to Old Trafford.

The versatile player was on loan to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona at that point, but his playing time was limited by a clause stipulating a €40m (£35.2m) permanent buy-out option that would be triggered if he played half-time. minutes was available to her.

This led to a bizarre situation where Atlético coach Diego Simeone was only using Griezmann after the 60-minute mark due to Atleti’s financial constraints.

United wanted to read if the 31-year-old was exploring his options but while he was flattered by the club’s interest and considered the Premier League a challenge, Griezmann’s priority was to make his move to Atleti permanent.

It happened in October, before his outstanding performances in Qatar helped France reach the World Cup final.

Frenchman Antoine Griezmann celebrates after the soccer World Cup semi-final match between France and Morocco at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, December 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Griezmann played a key role in France’s run to the World Cup final last month

Inquiries from England have not stopped, but Griezmann is happy at Atleti and the only time he might think about his future is when Simeone goes out.

United describe the player due diligence as a routine part of the recruitment process, likening it to keeping up with developments around Joao Felix and Cody Gacpo – who join Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively – so they have all the information needed to make a decision.

Their scrutiny of Griezmann is significant in highlighting the club’s dual policy of recruiting original winners who can now contribute – like Raphael Varane and Casemiro – and changing the club’s culture, along with talented youngsters with a high ceiling.

It also points to wanting – sometimes quietly – to find a remedy for how light Erik ten Hag’s attacking choices are. United have also worked with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sisko – who will join RB Leipzig in the summer – and Ajax’s Mohamed Kodos.

As explained Sky Sports On Sunday, while there has been long-standing interest in Harry Kane due to his prime goal-scoring record, the feeling is that he would prefer to stay at Spurs and want to secure the best possible new contract offer while seeking assurances on their long-term ambitions.

United’s priority in the summer is to add a top striker, but their transfer business will suffer if they don’t secure Champions League football and can’t reverse their trend of not selling well.

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Ten Hag is doing his homework on the training grounds and the club is confident of finding good solutions in the off-season with Murtog and head of recruitment Steve Brown, aided by data science director Dominic Jordan, trying to undercut mistakes made by the department. In the past.

After spending last summer exceeded £200m, United were forced to opt for the budget option of bringing in Wout Weghorst on loan this month to help alleviate their attacking woes.

UEFA’s new financial sustainability rules and money owed in transfer fee installments – £307m according to the latest accounts – will determine how it operates in the market.

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Who will move this winter? The January transfer window opens Sunday, January 1, 2023 and closes in 11 pm on me Tuesday, January 31, 2023.

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