The club president of Atletico Madrid, Enrique Cerezo, has delivered his latest warning to Manchester United over their interest in forward Antoine Griezmann by insisting he will not willingly sell the France international this summer.
The Independent revealed earlier this week that United have already put together a plan to sign 25-year-old Griezmann in the summer, having chosen not to add any players to Jose Mourinho’s squad during the January transfer window.
United are prepared to trigger Griezmann’s €100m [£86m] release clause if Atletico decide to play hardball over his transfer fee, though the club will endeavour to try and sign him for a reduced fee if the La Liga side are willing to negotiate.
Griezmann has emerged as one of La Liga’s most talented finishers during his two-and-a-half years in Spain, but with his reputation comes a desire from Atletico not to let him leave as their best strikers have done so in the past.
Speaking this week, Cerezo insisted: “I don’t tie anybody down.
“There are many offers. I don’t know what will come of Manchester United’s interest. What I can say though is that Griezmann will be an Atlético player for a long time.”
However, Atletico’s hand could be forced this summer, with an investigation by The Independent revealing that the club must pay off substantial loans that have been taken out to pay for the new Wanda Metroploitano stadium, while manager Diego Simeone also looks set to leave the club at the end of the season after shortening his contract.
West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet could yet find himself on his way back to Marseille despite reports claiming that talks had ended between the two clubs. French newspaper L’Equipe claims that Marseille are still interested in the unhappy France international, and have lodged a third offer of £26m for the 29-year-old.
Payet has been banished from the first-team squad by manager Slaven Bilic, and it’s also been revealed by The Telegraph that he is missing out on a £25,000-a-match appearance fee while he remains on strike.
Manchester City’s David Silva and Samir Nasri are the latest players to be linked with a move to China as former manager Manuel Pellegrini has identified the pair as key additions to his Hebei Fortune side.
A number of Premier League players have been targeted by clubs in the Chinese Super League, most notably Diego Costa unsuccessfully and his former Chelsea teammate Oscar – who completed a £60m move to Shanghai SIPG this month – and The Sun reports that both Silva and Nasri are the latest big names that could be tempted to the Far East.
Finally, Arsenal could look to hijack Everton’s move for Algeria international Rachid Ghezzal, with the winger’s future at Lyon very much in doubt. The Sun claims that while Everton are reported to be in talks over a move at the end of the season – having ended their interest in Ishak Belfodil – Arsenal could yet capitalise on his desire to join ‘a bigger club.
Ghezzal is out of contract at the end of the season, and looks likely to leave the Ligue 1 club for nothing.
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