Atletico Madrid are resigned to losing their star striker next summer, which was one of the reasons for signing Diego Costa, 27, from Chelsea in a move to be registered in January. Serving a FIFA-imposed transfer ban last summer staved off Griezmann’s departure from Madrid but only by twelve months.
A host of Europe’s elite clubs, including Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid, are looking at the best option for signing Griezmann. Despite a relatively poor 2017-18, the French international’s value hasn’t dropped and nor the determination to sign him.
Griezmann is reported to be seeking a concrete affirmation of the Catalans interest and believes the guarantee to trigger his release clause is the only sign of that. He has been bitten before by big clubs.
In his autobiography, he relates how Arsenal strung him along in 2013; the bitterness over the collapse of that move still rankles and the book makes it clear he is not interested in ever moving to north London.
If the Blaugrana don’t make their move, Manchester United appears to be his favoured destination. Jose Mourinho is a long-time admirer of the French international and has already told the United board that Griezmann is one of his top targets for 2018.