Antoine Griezmann to Manchester United: The key reasons why the Atletico Madrid forward will not move to Old Trafford this summer

United are believed to be monitoring Griezmann after missing out on Barcelona's Pedro

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Manchester United are being linked with an audacious move for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann after seeing Premier League rivals Chelsea steal Barcelona’s Pedro from under their noses.

With United visibly short on options in attack if they wish to realistically challenge for the title, manager Louis van Gaal and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward remain active in the transfer window, and the Daily Mail claims they are keeping one eye on the France international.

With Pedro’s move for Pedro all but done and Southampton refusing to allow Sadio Mane to leave for Old Trafford, United are believed to be weighing up a move for Griezmann before the 1 September deadline.

 

But here are the key reasons why the deal will not go through.

Griezmann’s buy-out clause is a whopping £57m

United missed out on Pedro because they were unwilling to up their initial offer of £17.6m plus £3.5m in add-ons due to their belief that he did not represent value for money. With that in mind, why would they then go out and spend nearly three times that amount on a player who has five fewer La Liga titles to his name along with zero Champions League crowns to Pedro’s three.

If United are willing to invest so heavily in Griezmann on the scale of what they paid Real Madrid for Angel Di Maria last season, it would beg the question as to why they wouldn’t meet the payment of £2m more for Pedro who would come with a proven pedigree. Griezmann is certainly a talented player who has demonstrated a gift - not only in plucking out team-mates but also finding the back of the net himself - but with no major trophy to his name he would have to go down as unproven quantity at the level United are looking to complete at.

Atletico have no intention of selling Griezmann after a year

Atletico’s aspirations are clear. Just look at their 2013/14 season in which they conquered the Spanish duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid to win a first La Liga title in 18 years as well as reach the Champions League final where they were minutes of European success. Despite selling many of their prize assets – Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and David Villa all left for pastures new – Atletico remain determined to solidify their position as title contenders on a regular basis.

Selling Griezmann, who is arguably their most talented player currently on the books, would completely go against this idea and reinforce the belief that Ateltico remain a selling club. It’s likely that Griezmann will eventually move on from the Madrid club should he continue his upward development, but after just one season at the Vicente Calderon would certainly feel like a premature exit.

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Diego Costa left Atletico after the La Liga success

Atletico need Griezmann’s familiarity to help new signings

Having sold a number of players including Mario Mandzukic, Arda Turan and Miranda, Atletico look a little short on experienced players that know what it means to play for the club. Fernando Torres remains on the books after his return last season, but new signings Jackson Martinez and Luciano Vietto will need time to settle in after their summer moves.

Griezmann can help ease that process with his talent likely to produce goals as well as chances for the new strike duo to convert, and with the creative Turan now plying his trade at Barcelona – once their Fifa ban lifts in January – Atletico desperately need Griezmann to add that spark that makes them such a dangerous side, especially when he utilises his pace on the counter-attack.

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Atletico Madrid striker Luciano Vietto

Griezmann plays in a very similar position to Memphis Depay

Versatility is a word that can be applied to both Griezmann and Memphis Depay given their ability to play anywhere across an attacking midfield trio as well as a makeshift forward, but they have both made a name for themselves on the left flank. Depay showed early signs in the 3-1 Champions League play-off victory over Club Brugge that he could be a very clever signing, with his two goals inching United closer to group stage qualification. Indeed, the Netherlands international could, and should, have had a hat-trick.

Acquiring Griezmann would likely see Wayne Rooney remain as the lead striker, with Van Gaal facing a conundrum of how to play the likes of Griezmann, Depay, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young into a three-man attacking midfield. United would be wiser investing their money elsewhere than bringing in another midfielder.

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Depay has made an impressive start to his United career

United look like they need an out-and-out striker rather than another wide-forward

Despite United having played just three matches this season, there are already questions over Rooney and his ability to lead the attack as a lone striker. The suggestion so far is that he no longer has the raw pace to terrify defences as he did when he broke onto the scene for Everton and then United, and his worrying run of nine club games without a goal has triggered talk that he should be deployed behind a lead striker instead.

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United would be better suited to trying to sigh Muller

Van Gaal’s options elsewhere are limited to just Javier Hernandez and James Wilson, and it doesn’t take a football expert to conclude that United would be better off launching a bid for a world class forward of the irk of Thomas Muller or Edinson Cavani. United have let both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao leave this summer and so far failed to replace them, and having struggled to score goals last season, they are most likely eyeing out-and-out goal threats rather than a player of Griezmann’s ability who flourishes in a deeper role.

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