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Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann

Manchester United’s long-term target Antoine Griezmann put his exit rumours to rest by signing a new contract with Atletico Madrid which will keep him at the capital club until 2020, however, his extension has paved a new path for Manchester United to make a move for him next summer.

With Atletico Madrid failing in their request of uplifting the transfer ban, the Los Roji Blancos will look to retain their best men of the squad. A month back, Lyon president confirmed that an agreement with Atletico is in place which will see their Alexandre Lacazette travelling to Spain and that all but confirmed Antoine Griezmann’s departure from the club.

However, with the transfer ban in process, they managed to retain Antoine Griezmann for a long term, but here comes the catch; Atletico president Enrique Cerezo confirmed that Griezmann, even after signing  a new contract, still carries the same  €100 million release clause to his head, which United were ready to pay this time around.

‘The sanction of the CAS has fallen. Atletico can not recruit. With my sports advisor, Eric Olhats, we decided to stay,’ Griezmann said of his decision to reject United.

‘It’s a hard time for the club. It would be a blow to go now.

‘We talked to the club and we will be back for next season.’

Asked about Griezmann’s new deal, Cerezo had earlier told Cadena Ser: “Yes, it’s one more year and the release clause will remain the same.”

His new contract sure makes him the highest-paid footballer in the club, but as soon as their transfer ban is lifted, United might well again make a move. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic now released, United are on a lookout for a replacement, and if the reports are to be believed, Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata has been identified as a perfect catch and both United and Real are negotiating a fee for the transfer to be done.

Atletico Madrid, on their part, have been constantly linked with a move for their former striker Diego Costa, whose departure from the Stamford Bridge is all but evident. Should the Spaniard arrives at Madrid this January, Atletico might look to let Griezmann leave.

Exciting times lie ahead!