Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann was last night questioned on the mounting rumours that he is set for a summer switch to Barcelona, following Los Colchoneros’ Europa League final triumph over Marseille.
Manchester United’s chase of French forward Griezmann was one of the talking points of the early weeks of last summer’s transfer window, with Jose Mourinho having identified the 27-year-old as the ideal addition to his attacking ranks at Old Trafford.
However, any potential move was put on hold when Griezmann himself confirmed that he would not leave Atletico in the midst of their transfer ban, with the Red Devils having since opted to bring in Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez instead as a result.
Jose Mourinho recently confirmed that United will not be targeting attacking reinforcements this summer, with the Manchester giants set to focus their attentions on midfield and defensive additions.
This has led to mounting reports that Barcelona are now viewed as the clear leading contenders for Griezmann’s signature, with the Blaugrana having long been touted as a potential destination for the French international.
Griezmann’s 200 million Euro Atletico release clause is reportedly set to drop to 100 million Euro at the end of this season, making a potential deal for any and all suitors markedly more realistic.
In additon, adding weight to the Griezmann to Barca rumours back in February was a report from journalist Albert Roge (later backed by the reliable Cat Radio), which ensured that a deal to send Atletico’s star man to the Camp Nou this summer was ‘100%’ certain:
‘It is closed, yes, although obviously neither of the two parties will confirm it. At Sport we have already been informed of the private agreement that exists between both and Griezmann will be Barca’s in the summer 100%.’
However, when it was put to Griezmann himself during an interview with Telefoot last month that, according to their information, he was engaged in ‘advanced talks’ with Barcelona over a move to the club at the end of the season, the Frenchman sniped:
‘I don’t know where you get this information, but it is false.’
Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu, though, confirmed earlier this month for the first time that talks between the club and Griezmann’s entourage over a transfer had indeed taken place, during an interview with RAC1:
‘I saw Griezmann one day on holiday. We met with his agent, yes. It was in October.’
Atletico Madrid were in action last night, in the final of the Europa League, versus Marseille.
Diego Simeone’s men went on to make short work of their Ligue 1 opponents in Lyon, eventually emerging with a 3-0 victory, courtesy of a starring performance from man of the moment Griezmann.
The Frenchman notched his side’s first two goals on the night, looking an absolute class apart from the majority of those on the pitch at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
Unsurprisingly, following the full-time whistle, Griezmann was inevitably questioned on his future with Atletico, with the former Real Sociedad man having refused to rule out a departure from the club at the end of the season during an interview with Sky Sports:
‘I think now is not the moment to talk about my future, I just want to enjoy myself after my performance, after winning a trophy and I want to celebrate with the fans.’
‘Simeone has taught me a lot, he made me become a better player and I hope I can keep improving every year, in every game. I owe a lot to Simeone and my team-mates.’