Antoine Griezmann has confirmed he is staying at Atletico Madrid for another year admitting it "would be a blow" to leave them after their transfer ban was upheld.
The Frenchman is a long-term target for Manchester United although it is understood in the wake of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury they are now looking at other targets with Everton's Romelu Lukaku, Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata and Torino's Andrea Belotti being considered.
It is understood Griezmann informed manager Jose Mourinho of his decision with a phone call on Thursday after his current boss, Diego Simeone, personally intervened to get him to stay with the Rojiblancos.
And speaking on Sunday the 26-year-old confirmed that the CAS ruling to uphold the club's ban on signing players this summer weighed heavily on his decision to stay in Spain for at least one more season.
"The questions about my future were pretty boring," he told Telefoot. "The sanction of the CAS has fallen. Atletico can not recruit. With my sports advisor, Eric Olhats, we decided to stay.
"It's a hard time for the club. It would be a blow to go now. We talked to the club and we will be back for next season."
Griezmann had been leaning towards joining United over the last few weeks, to the extent that even some of his commercial partners like Beats were planning advertisements around the transfer.
It is understood that the Old Trafford hierarchy were willing to pay his £84m buy-out clause, a situation that would have left Atletico helpless to prevent him leaving, having naturally decided not to consider any sale due to the transfer sanction.
The Spanish club thereby made a concerted effort to persuade the 26-year-old to stay for at least one more year, although it is also understood that he does not want to leave Simeone - who he admires greatly - in the lurch.
Griezmann’s departure would have left Atletico’s forward line significantly depleted without the opportunity to register anyone else until January, although the club remain confident they can do a deal for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette to arrive mid-season.
Mourinho’s interest in Griezmann remains and it is believed by all parties that United could look to revive in the deal in the future, but the club still want to sign a star name this summer.
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