Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

United switch targets with Griezmann hopes fading

By Miguel Delaney | IOL |

Manchester United are investigating alternative forward signings for the summer due to the difficulty of purchasing Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, and are considering moves for Kylian Mbappe of Monaco and even Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Football Soccer – Atletico Madrid v Valencia – Spanish La Liga Santander – Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain, 5/3/17 Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring a goal. REUTERS/Javier Barbancho

Griezmann had been the Old Trafford club’s number-one target as the marquee name to join in 2017 but The Independent has learned that his transfer has now been “lessened in priority” because of how complicated any prospective deal would be.

Although personal terms had been agreed with the French star’s representatives at the start of the year and Jose Mourinho obviously still wants him and will persist in trying to get a move done, extracting Griezmann from Atletico Madrid is seen as particularly tough due to the terms of his contract and the Spanish club’s total unwillingness to sell in a year when they also move stadium.

United may be forced to pay his buy-out if they want him, a process much more complicated than having a bid accepted, but there is also a feeling the 25-year-old may be holding out for a move to Real Madrid. United sources say Mourinho himself doubts whether it will be feasible this summer.

For a variety of those reasons, United have downgraded Griezmann in terms of “priority” and have started working more seriously on other options.

Mbappe’s sensational form for Monaco means they will investigate whether a deal can be done for the precocious 18-year-old, but Lewandowski’s current status as a world star – combined with his obvious quality – would also make him an especially attractive signing.

A move for the Polish striker would synch with United’s commercial aims around the team. Lewandowski has just signed a new contract with Bayern Munich, who would be reluctant to sell, but the Premier League club are considering testing how durable that stance is.