Antoine Griezmann is going nowhere according to Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo. To add salt to the wound he added…… especially not to a small club like Manchester United!
He may have a point. Although it was probably a tongue in cheek comment, over the last 3 or 4 seasons Atletico have achieved so much more in their respective leagues with the Madrid side being Spanish Champions in 2013/14. They have also finished in the top 3 over the last 4 seasons. They were so unlucky not to win the Champions league in both the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons. In the first of those they lost after being in front up to the 93rd minute. Then a last gasp header by Sergio Ramos took the game into extra time and Real Madrid stormed on to win 4-1 after an obviously deflated Atletico fell apart. Last season they lost the final on penalties, another tough way to lose a Champions League final, just ask Chelsea fans when you go back to the 2007/2008 season.
The best Manchester United have done recently is 4th place in 2014/15 and a Champions League Quarter final in 2013/14. Last season they lost in the group stages of the Champions League. This season and next looks like being Europa League territory again unless they can turn the stream of draws they keep getting into victories.
Why would any of this attract Griezmann. Surely a player of his talents needs Champions League football and fighting for the league title on a regular basis. Atletico have an incredible team with an incredible loved and passionate manager, Diego Simeone. Being the ‘smaller’ of the Madrid clubs and for years living in the shadows of their Bernabeu neighbours hasn’t stopped the David’s regularly outperforming the Goliaths!
At United a yearly managerial change over the last 4 seasons coupled with so much money wasted on questionable transfers has led to so many rumours of unsettled players. Why would Griezmann want to walk into that set up when he is currently at one of the best performing and tight knit teams in the world!
In an interview with Cadena COPE earlier this week, Cerezo had reiterated his desire to keep Griezmann at the club.
“Every time I see Antoine I give him a hug,” he said. “Antoine is a fantastic player and loves life at Atletico.”
Although the £85 million release clause won’t deter United, Griezmann himself has no intention in leaving the club. All the rumours have come about more, as United scratch their heads as to how to make themselves a serious contender again, rather than any disquiet on the Atletico front!