An update has emerged regarding Manchester City’s interest in Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, as relayed by Caught Offside, the Premier League champions are willing to make an offer for the Frenchman this summer. City believe that he would fit their squad and are prepared to take advantage of Barcelona’s financial issues by submitting a bid for the 30-year-old this summer.
France manager Didier Deschamps hailed Griezmann as a “game changer” and said that he is one of the greatest players in the history of world football.
The 52-year-old said: “The statistics speak for themselves, you can see the influence he has for the French national team through the goals he has scored and through his assists. Add to that the capacity to change games and get stuck in and defend when we don’t have the ball. He’s one of the greatest players of all time in Europe and worldwide.
“He is one of our technical leaders. He is a game changer with the way he moves, the control he has with the ball and the goals he is capable of scoring, and his assists. He is an offensive player, a very creative player and has this ability to think outside the box.”
It’s time to forget the pursuit of Harry Kane. Manchester City are reportedly keen to bring the 27-year-old to the Etihad Stadium this summer and recently failed with a £100m bid for the England captain, with Tottenham wanting £120m for his services according to Sky Sports. Given Spurs’ high demands, City could look elsewhere to find a cheaper alternative to their striker situation, and this is where Griezmann could come in as an ideal transfer target in the coming months.
The report stated that Barcelona’s financial problems could open the door for City to swoop for Griezmann, although no exact price is mentioned for the Frenchman. For argument’s sake, we will use his Transfermarkt valuation as a potential price tag and that comes in at £54m. City could potentially be saving nearly £70m by opting to sign Griezmann instead of Kane, if Barcelona allow the 30-year-old to leave for a fee in the same region as his Transfermarkt valuation.
Pep Guardiola would surely love to have Griezmann at City as he could be the perfect player for the system he used at the end of the 2020/21 campaign. He utilised Kevin de Bruyne as a false nine, including in the Champions League final, and Griezmann could come in and nail down that role in the team, allowing the Belgian to drop back in his favoured central midfield position, where he can then dominate games for Guardiola.
Griezmann has played 111 games in his career as a false nine, whilst also playing as a centre-forward, attacking midfielder and winger, scoring 51 goals and setting up another 23 in those 111 matches.
This suggests that he excels in that position and could therefore be a superb signing for City if Guardiola wants to continue using that system. At the age of 30, Griezmann may not be a long-term addition for Guardiola to coach and develop over time, but instead come in and make an instant impact.
This is why the City manager could love having the Frenchman as he would arrive as a readymade quality star, and Txiki now needs to make sure that he can seal a swoop for him ahead of Kane.