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Man United hold Griezmann talks with Atletico Madrid

According to reports from Mirror Football, Manchester United have held talks with Atletico Madrid regarding a potential transfer deal for Antoine Griezmann.

What’s the word?

Widely regarded as one of the top attacking talents in world football, Antoine Griezmann is never far from being mooted as a prime transfer target for the Premier League’s top clubs – most particularly Chelsea and Manchester United.

Indeed, Manchester Evening News and Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones have both billed the France international as Jose Mourinho’s top target for summer 2017, with the latter source claiming he’s viewed as a long-term successor to Wayne Rooney in the free role between the midfield and the front-line.

Earlier this week, Mirror Football reported on United’s plans to ‘jettison’ Rooney at the end of the season due to his seemingly unrelenting decline and, following the line of Bleacher Report, the same publication are now mooting Griezmann as the Red Devils skipper’s direct replacement.

Portugal v France - EURO 2016 - Final

Is a deal likely?

Griezmann has been linked with a Premier League switch since his Real Sociedad days without a move ever materialising. But as discussed by Mirror Football, there have been some interesting developments since the end of the summer transfer window.

First and foremost, the 25-year-old dumped his agent in September, deciding instead to represent himself. Secondly, Atletico’s iconic manager Diego Simeone has cut his contract short by two years to 2018 – suggesting that will be when he finally leaves Vincente Calderon.

Furthemore, Griezmann’s contract includes a £90million release clause, a sum that doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous after United’s world-record swoop for countryman Paul Pogba.

Nonetheless, there are still stumbling blocks, not least including Atletico’s transfer ban. They’re out of action for the next two transfer windows and won’t be able to sign a direct replacement for Griezmann until January 2018.

So any deal worth less than the forward’s buyout fee seems unlikely, whilst Griezmann himself would be expected to show some loyalty to the club that has given him the platform to become a superstar.