What Man Utd were told by Antoine Griezmann when he rejected Atletico Madrid exit

SPORTS

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Griezmann again this summer, despite Barcelona long being considered frontrunners in the race for his signature.

The France international confirmed his desire to leave Diego Simeone’s side back in May but, so far, a move has failed to materialise.

Manchester United, inevitably, have been backed to sign him but Express Sport understands a move to Barcelona appears to be far more likely.

The World Cup winner has his heart set on strutting his stuff alongside Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and co next term.

Yet the South China Morning Post have opened up on Griezmann snubbing United two years ago.

At the time, Jose Mourinho was convinced the France international would be the ticket to the Premier League title.

The Red Devils had reportedly been advised that, in Griezmann, they would be signing a player behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

United had snuck into the Champions League by winning the Europa League title and wanted a star striker to replace Wayne Rooney.

Griezmann was under consideration, having propelled France to the European Championships final the previous year.

Yet the report claims he personally called United to reject them.

Prior to that, he had his heart set on a move to Old Trafford. His brother and Paul Pogba teased as such on social media.

But it is claimed Griezmann thought it would be a ‘dirty move’ to leave Atletico after they had been slapped with a transfer ban.

Yet now, two years on, he wants to leave. Except this time, for Barcelona rather than United.

“After speaking with Cholo (Diego Simeone), then with Miguel Angel and the people in the hierarchy of the club I wanted to speak with you, the fans, who have always given me a lot of love,” he said in May.

“To tell you I have taken the decision to leave. To see other things, to have other challenges.

“The truth is it has been difficult to take this route but it is what I feel I need and I would like to thank all of you for the love you have shown me during these five years.”

As well as Griezmann, Barcelona also want to sign Neymar.

United, meanwhile, retain an interest in the likes of Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Sean Longstaff.

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