Manchester United are reportedly “very confident” over completing an £85m deal to bring Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford next summer.
Journalist Pilib de Brun claims that the Red Devils will land the Atletico Madrid striker in six months time if they trigger the £85.3m release clause fee in his contract – cash that manager Jose Mourinho is happy to part with in a bid to prize him away from last season’s Champions League runners-up.
Taking to his official Twitter account, de Brun stated that the club were extremely bullish about their chances of signing the France international as a replacement for veteran forward Wayne Rooney, who could be forced to leave United if Griezmann arrives.
Utd are very confident of signing Griezmann in the summer having already told him they’ll meet his buyout. No way back for Rooney IMO.
— Pilib de Brún (@Malachians) 10. prosinca 2016.
Speculation has mounted over Griezmann moving to the Premier League in recent weeks after the 25-year-old conducted a series of interviews where he spoke glowingly about the 20-time English top flight champions.
The attacker revealed that he would one day like to play alongside compatriot Paul Pogba at club level, recalled how his brother Theo had told him about the amazing atmosphere at Old Trafford and hinted that he would like to play in the Premier League at some point during his career.
De Brun appeared to aid those quotes during a live stream on the Periscope app in a follow up to his original tweet, and said he believed that Griezmann would only be too happy to trade the bright lights of Madrid for Manchester when the summer transfer window opens next year.
In quotes transcribed by the Daily Star he added: “Contact was made with Griezmann a while ago actually.
“As you’ve probably noticed in the last month or two Griezmann did an interview where he said some encouraging things about the Premier League, about Paul Pogba and Manchester United.
“I also said a while ago that [Jose] Mourinho had said to [Wayne] Rooney if he wanted regular football be would have to leave to get it. That is still the case. It looks like Griezmann will be brought in as a replacement for Rooney.
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) 13. prosinca 2016.
“I do know that the situation with Giezmann is he’s keen, United are confident they’ll get him.
“Will Champions League [football] be a factor if they don’t get it? I don’t know, but I would imagine Griezmann has thought about that and quite happy to come regardless.
“Mourinho has clearly targeted him and United feel like that’s a deal they can make happen.”