After an entire transfer saga played over the best part of half a year now, it finally seems as if Antonie Griezmann is going to stay at Atletico Madrid for another season, at least.
After multiple indications of the player coming to Manchester, including various teasers in his social media profile and clips from advertisements, a tweet on Thursday almost confirmed that he would be staying back at Atletico Madrid.
His tweet, roughly translated to English, comes out as: ” Now more than ever #Atleti #alltogether ”
With Manchester United having long sought the player, this decision may seem as a failed effort after the resources and time spent on an attempt to seal the deal. Antoine Griezmann would have been the perfect No. 10 player for United, once very well managed by English captain Wayne Rooney.
Unfortunately, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic found himself in a very serious injury threatening his career, Jose Mourinho had to prioritise his choice in the transfer market. The need of the hour for the Manchester United squad would be a proper striker, an obvious choice considering Mourinho’s infamous tactics.
Mourinho has an affinity towards a finisher who stays high up in the field and is physically strong to hold the ball and slot it home. In his two terms at Chelsea, he had Didier Drogba and Diego Costa to do the dirty job. With Zlatan out now, the focus is on finding a player who could fill that role.
After a shambolic attacking performance by the Manchester club this season, the £87 million United had set in stock for activating Griezmann’s buyout clause has to be redirected now.
Not so long ago, the 26-year-old Frenchman was almost certain that he would leave his present club to look for opportunities elsewhere. But now, he seems to want to settle with the Madrid club.
It may be inferred that this sudden change in the decision may stem from the fact that Atletico Madrid will be facing a ban in acquiring players in the summer transfer window, preventing them from finding a suitable replacement for Griezmann if he leaves the club.
According to COPE, Antonio Ruiz, (who has been providing regular updates on the entire saga on Twitter) had indicated that Antoine had spoken to Manchester United on Thursday. The Ballon D’Or nominee had to explain to the English side the reason for his decision – He cannot join the club as Atletico’s transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The ban was a result of Los Rojiblancos having found signing minors into their club, and was with effect enforced for two transfer seasons starting the July of 2016.
While Manchester United fans would certainly be disappointed, the player’s decision demands a certain amount of respect and loyalty. Antoine chose to stick by his club when they needed him, an act which is hardly found in the modern footballing world.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam
United fan since Edwin Van der Sar denied Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to earn a dramatic Euro glory. Firmly believes that Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or until he plays this sport. One time writer for GiveMeSport and Roar. A regular contributor to Sportskeeda and BlameFootball.