Manchester United Hopes Look Set To Be Dashed
The family of Manchester United transfer target Antoine Griezmann have met with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu as the France international edges close to a move to the Nou Camp.
Griezmann looked to be close to a move to Manchester United at the end of last season only for the deal to be scuppered after Atletico Madrid’s transfer embargo was ratified by the Court Of Arbitration For Sport. That meant the La Liga side couldn’t sign a replacement and Griezmann then signed a new contract with Atletico.
But Barcelona began to make overtures of their own over the course of the last few months. Unlike Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool and Ousmane Dembele, whose move from Borussia Dortmund went through in August, Barca know where they stand with regards to Griezmann’s transfer fee. His release clause stipulates he can only leave on payment of €100million (currently worth £88million).
Barca officials met with members of Griezmann’s entourage following the closure of the Spanish transfer window at the beginning of September. An agreement in principle was made between the 26-year-old on the one hand and Barcelona officials Pep Segura – the La Liga side’s general manager – and technical secretary Robert Fernandez on the other.
Now, the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports that Griezmann’s parents have met with Barcelona president Bartomeu and that the deal is set to go through next summer. The meeting is important as Griezmann is currently represented by his sister.
Some observers in Spain claim that the signing of Griezmann will only take place if Barca fail to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the January transfer window. In that case, Manchester United fans may be hoping that the Brazilian heads off to the Nou Camp next month.
Barca will now approach Atletico with the offer of €100million. If Atleti agree then the deal will go through at the end of the season. Otherwise, Griezmann will have to pay the €100million himself via a loan from Barcelona. Such a transaction will attract the attentions of the Spanish taxman and will lead to the deal costing more than €100million.