Pep Guardiola has reportedly made contact with Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann about a potential summer move to Manchester City, and the Frenchman could be a superb addition to his squad at the Etihad ahead of next season.
According to French news outlet Foot Mercato, Guardiola has made a personal call to the former Atletico Madrid man and City are in ‘good contact’ with his agent.
The report suggests that City’s interest in Harry Kane has cooled due to Tottenham Hotspur’s asking price for the England captain and that they could look towards Griezmann as an alternative option.
Although Griezmann perhaps hasn’t hit the heights many expected of him when he completed a £107m move to Barcelona in 2019, he has still managed a decent return of 35 goals and 17 assists in 99 appearances for the Catalan side.
Barcelona included a £717m release clause in his contract when he signed, but they are now in a desperate financial situation and perhaps could look to cash in on the 30-year-old this summer, as a way of easing their substantial wage bill, with it claimed that he earns a ridiculous £594k per week at the Nou Camp.
Whilst City would surely have to negotiate a substantially lower wager should he move to the Etihad this summer, his performances last season, as well as at the Euros with France, suggest that Guardiola would be adding an extremely talented player to his squad.
In 36 La Liga appearances in the 2020/21 campaign, Griezmann would contribute an impressive 13 goals and seven assists, averaging a superb 7.17 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
He averaged the same rating for Didier Deschamps’ side at the European Championships, despite France’s shock quarter-final exit at the hands of Switzerland, which again emphasises how good he can be.
The French manager was full of praise for the forward earlier in the summer, saying:
“He is one of those players who is capable of changing games,” Deschamps told a news conference on Friday. “He is very creative, he has this ability to think outside the box, it is remarkable to watch.
“He beat a (starts) record. He is playing in consecutive games, wonderfully so for him. He may not be 20 anymore, but he takes very good care of himself.”You can see the influence he has with the goals he scores and assists he makes. Then add to that the capacity he has to change the game, while getting back and doing his defensive duties. He is one of the greatest players of all time, both in Europe and worldwide.”
Given that Guardiola played much of last season with one of Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva in a ‘false nine’ role, Griezmann could be the ideal man to evolve his attack next season, as he excels at link-up play but can also be clinical in front of goal, which is something City arguably lack now that Sergio Aguero has left.
Therefore, if a realistic deal can be done for Griezmann this summer, then Guardiola and Manchester City should definitely consider it.