It was heavily reported that Antoine Griezmann would be moving to Manchester United this summer, but the latest report from the BBC states that the club have cooled interest in the Frenchman. This follows the news that Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban has been upheld, which means that the Spanish club won’t be able to sign players this summer. Therefore, their existing players are less likely to depart. It was thought that the forward would be joining United for a fee in the region of £86 million, but Jose Mourinho will now move on to alternative targets. Here are three possible forward options for the Europa League champions this summer:
The Italian has been one of the breakout stars in Europe over the past season due to his excellent goal-scoring record with Torino. Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move and he may be top of their transfer wishlist now that Griezmann is no longer possible. During the Serie A season, he scored 26 goals and contributed a further seven assists, which is a good return for a team that wasn’t challenging at the top of the league. He possesses the skill-set of a striker that would thrive in a Jose Mourinho team and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the United boss moved for him over the coming weeks.
It would take a big fee to convince Torino to sell as they would hold out for €100 million, which would meet the release clause in his contract. However, the player himself could play a part in negotiations if he demands a transfer, as this would weaken the position of Torino. Belotti is comfortable with both feet, while his aerial ability is up there with the best in Europe. He has a knack of getting a shot away on goal even when he is in a tight space. Another reason why he would suit Mourinho is his willingness to work hard defensively. It would be a risk, but there is reason to believe the Italian would be a good fit for United this summer.
The Independent report that United may switch their attentions to Romelu Lukaku following the breakdown of the Griezmann move and this would make a lot of sense. The Belgian has already proven that he can be a regular goal-scorer in the Premier League, while his physicality is perfectly suited to Mourinho’s style of play. He can occupy defenders and hold up the ball, offering a huge presence in the final third, which would allow the midfielders to influence the game in between the lines. There is plenty of time for the 24-year-old to improve and he would be a worthy investment given that he has at least another seven years at the top of his game.
However, the problem that Lukaku represents is that he had a poor relationship with Mourinho at Chelsea, which resulted in him leaving for first team football. It was thought at the time that he was good enough to play a part at Stamford Bridge, but Mourinho wasn’t willing to give him regular game time. In addition to his fractured past with the United boss, a return to Chelsea is on the cards for the Belgian and it would be difficult to usurp them to complete a deal.
The Frenchman has been linked with every big club across Europe and it will be difficult to win the race to sign him, as everyone on the continent if aware of his world-class potential. It isn’t churlish to suggest he could be a potential Ballon D’Or winner, as he has already thrived in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. Monaco won’t be in a rush to sell the teenager as they will realise the value that he holds at the moment and it will only increase over the coming seasons. Manchester United have been credited with an interest in the past and they could opt to make a move now that they have cooled their interest in Griezmann.
Every top club in Europe should be pursuing Mbappe this summer and if one does land him, they would potentially be buying the next best player in the world. Putting his potential aside, the teenager has already proven that he can score goals regular at a high level, as he has scored once every 89.3 minutes, which is a remarkable scoring rate for a player of his age. His performances against Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus were impressive and he is only going to get better. It may require a fee of £100 million+, but it would be a gamble worth taking based on his performances for Monaco. Mbappe is the player that Manchester United should target now.