Atletico president brands United ‘small’ in Griezmann pursuit

Atletico president brands United ‘small’ in Griezmann pursuit

With their much-publicised interest in French international Antoine Griezmann reaching new heights thanks to comments from the striker’s advisor, Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has had his say on the matter, with the Spaniard damming in his view of Manchester United. United boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to unite Griezmann with his international team mate Paul Pogba, in what could once again be a world record transfer fee. However, Carezo has branded United as a “small team”, stating that the Frenchman will see out his contract, which runs until 2021.

Griezmann has regularly been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with the former Real Sociedad man making no secret of his admiration for former United legend David Beckham. With his advisor, Sebastian Bellencontre, suggesting that a move to Manchester would make sense both on and off the field, it seems that another transfer saga is set for the summer. The deal perhaps hinges on United’s qualification for the Champions League, with betting story backing Mourinho’s men to finish in the Premier League top four come the end of the season.

However, United managed to attract both Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Old Trafford without the lure of Champions League football, with the influence of Pogba set to only heighten their chances of adding Griezmann to their ranks. It could well take as much as £80 million to lure the Frenchman to Manchester, with Mourinho keen to add to his squad in the hope of winning a first title since 2013.

While Griezmann was the main topic of interest for Carezo, former Athletico man Sergio Aguero was also a name on everyone’s lips, however a return to Spain for the Argentine appears unlikely. Having starred for Manchester City since his departure from the Vicente Calderon Stadium back in 2011, Aguero has recently been left on the substitutes bench by manager Pep Guardiola, leading to speculation regarding his long-term future. Carezo certainly did not mince his words once again, branding Aguero “stupid” for departing Atletico in the first place.

Whatever happens, it promises to be another hectic summer on both sides of Manchester, with four points currently separating third placed City and 6th placed United in the table. Having started off the season in fine style, City have surrendered their advantage at the top, with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea now looking likely to cruise to the title. Both Guardiola and Mourinho are set to take full advantage of their club’s significant finances, with a whole host of new players expected to arrive in the North of England.