After a dismal season, when Manchester United broke all sorts of unwanted records, it was expected that the club would support new manager Erik ten Hag in the transfer market.
Five permanent contracts cost more than 200 million pounds, and the Dutch boss preferred to strengthen the backbone of the team.
At that moment, the club was also looking for strikers due to the uncertainty of Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
United spoke to Griezmann
One such striker was Antoine Griezmann of Sky Sports, who reported that the Frenchman was “flattered” by the interest shown in him by United.
The report mentions that the management of United talked to the entourage of the French national team, trying to make a deal with Casemiro.
Man Utd made a check on Antoine Griezmann in August to gauge the possibility of signing him while John Murtough was in Madrid to formalise a deal for Casemiro [@MelissaReddy_] #mufc pic.twitter.com/l1ujjtQYbv
— Manchester United Red Devils News (@Ammadutd) January 23, 2023
The conversation was caused by the striker’s strange situation at Atletico Madrid, where he was on loan from Barcelona, which arose due to a clause in his lease agreement.
The contract stated that Atletico would have to buy him immediately for 40 million euros (35.2 million pounds) if he played half of the minutes allotted to him.
Diego Simeone was playing with him as a substitute at that moment and brought him onto the field only after the 60-minute mark. Griezmann was desperately trying to force a move to the Madrid club.
Manchester United sought a dialogue with Antoine Griezmann and his representative last summer to assess the possibility of signing a contract with the French national team player.
“When football director John Murtough and recruitment consultant Tom Keen flew to Spain in August 2022 to finalize a deal with Casemiro, they called to arrange a meeting with Griezmann’s team in Madrid to understand his situation and feelings about the move to Old Trafford.
United are unlikely to return interest
“Although he was flattered by the club’s interest and considers the Premier League a challenge, Griezmann’s priority was to make his move to Atletico permanent,” Sky said in a statement.
In the end, he fulfilled his wish and returned to Wanda Metropolitano forever. But United are still considering adding a striker next summer, but it is unlikely that it will be Griezmann.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano said in his exclusive CaughtOffside column: “He loves Atletico, he has reduced his salary for Atletico, so I don’t see any big changes in the near future, certainly not in January.”
Although, as Sky pointed out, the French World Cup star may reconsider his options if Diego Simeone leaves the club, which could happen before next summer.