Forget Anthony Martial - Man Utd can solve striking woes with this £17m French superstar
The Red Devils have been linked with a move for a World Cup winner in January.
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Griez is the word; it's got groove, it's got meaning, and, if reports in Spain are to be believed, it's got a fighting chance of happening too. You see, according to El Nacional, via Mundo Deportivo, Manchester United - that fading matinee idol - are supposedly willing to triple Antoine Griezmann's current wage packet with Atletico Madrid in an effort to lure him to Old Trafford in January. Money talks, and in this case, it is saying: 'Please, Ant, we're getting pretty desperate here'.
In fairness to United, you can understand why they are seemingly so enamoured with the prospect of a move for Griezmann. Despite being in the relative twilight of his career, the 32-year-old has enjoyed a stunning glut of form so far this season, scoring 12 times in 16 outings, equivalent to a strike every 109 minutes.
And what exacerbates United's needs further is a frontline of their own that is failing to produce anything like those kinds of raw figures. Boyish Erling Haaland copyright law suit waiting to happen, Rasmus Hojlund, has impressed without tangible reward, Marcus Rashford is to all intents and purposes a winger these days, and Anthony Martial is proving himself to be about as effective as a soup fork. As a collective, they have seven goals between them this term, and just one of those, a Rashford consolation in a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, has come in the Premier League. These are lean times at Old Trafford.
As such, a striker is as much a necessity as it is an expectation in January, and there are few names that would catch the eye quite like Griezmann's. It is quite the shame, therefore, that transfer guru Fabrizio Romano is adamant that he won't be leaving Spain anytime soon.
Speaking recently, the renowned journalist said: "For Griezmann, I want to clarify that he is not leaving Atletico Madrid," he said. "From what I am told, he is in love with Atletico Madrid - the city, the fans, his teammates, the coach [Diego] Simeone. He is not leaving. He was approached by Saudi clubs in the summer and he decided to reject them, not even to negotiate because he was in love with life at Atletico. I don’t think he is going to be tempted by any offers from around Europe, especially in January." Sickener.
Nevertheless, the speculation from other quarters is likely to persist, especially when United are apparently keen to offer Griezmann upwards of £18 million per year. Beyond the crude seductiveness of vast riches, however, it is difficult to know just how appealing the Frenchman would find Erik ten Hag's project in its current guise. Certainly, Old Trafford does not scream 'harmonious work environment' as things stand.
Still, United may try their luck, and more power to them if they do. Of course, the club has made statement signings of Griezmann's ilk before, and almost without exception, they have fizzled out unceremoniously. But where the Atletico striker is concerned, you can't help wondering if things might be different; call it romanticism, call it insanity. His return is so good, and his footballing intelligence is so refined that it is difficult to imagine him properly failing anywhere. Even during his stint with Barcelona he averaged a goal contribution every other game, give or take.
Common sense, that pesky thing, tells you that in all likelihood Griezmann will not be signing for United this winter. But if by some miracle they could prise him away from La Liga, what an acquisition he would be.