Manchester United are close to completing an £86 million mega deal for Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The French international has been one of the most in-form forwards in European football over the past few years, netting an incredible 32 goals in just 54 games for Diego Simeone’s side last term, as well as 22 in 40 this time round for the Spanish giants.
The 26-year-old’s stunning efforts for his country in the European Championships last summer, where he won the Golden Boot with six goals in seven matches for the hosts as they reached the final, further underlined his credentials on the big stage, and his displays over the last 18 months or so have attracted much interest around Europe.
And now it appears that Jose Mourinho’s United will get a deal done for the Atletico forward in the summer, given that they are ready to meet his buyout clause of €100 million.
The Red Devils have been overly reliant on 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic this term, he is their top-scorer with 26 goals in all competitions, 16 more than the next highest scorer Juan Mata, and with the Swede yet to commit to a contract extension beyond this season, Mourinho is acting fast in case Ibrahimovic decides against staying in Manchester.
A signing of Griezmann’s calibre would be a huge statement of intent from the Red Devils as they look to mount a serious challenge both domestically and in Europe next season.
Mourinho’s men are currently fifth in the Premier League but only four points adrift of the top four, and with their participation ongoing in the Europa League, they have two genuine chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
However, it will be in the league where Mourinho will want to bridge the gap to the leaders Chelsea, given that Antonio Conte’s side are currently 17 points ahead of United with just ten games of the campaign left – Griezmann is the sort of player who would help cut and potentially overthrow that gap next season.