How Antoine Griezmann helped change Manchester United’s transfer strategy – Samuel Luckhurst


At this point, you may have already pinged Sunderland ‘Til I Die. If you’ve exhausted the majority of football documentaries available on streaming services, no matter how desperate you are, it’s not worth playing with Antoine Griezmann’s Netflix effort.

Humbly titled Antoine Griezmann: The making of a legend, the hour-long documentary is about as informative as the daily British government briefings. It is a story of immense sacrifice when the only stress the Griezmann family seemed to encounter was monotonous car trips leading little Antoine to the trials. The aqueducts begin to come in the triumphant final against the background of the World Cup utopia. Griezmann’s tears have all the sincerity of a celebrity on Oprah.

Griezmann is comfortable having camera lenses focused on him. Obsessive in basketball, he reproduces that of LeBron James decision special TV show in 2013 when he revealed he was going to sign for the Miami Heat with his own single episode of Cliffhanger in 2018. Monetizing his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid, a documentary revealed Griezmann’s apparent connection to supporters who quickly disconnected. Last year, Atletico reportedly blocked a repeat of the “decision” stunt.

In the broadcast in which he appeared, Griezmann, undressed with disheveled hair and a messy stubble, appeared to be in a hostage video. He has confirmed that he will leave for Barcelona and his delivery is so unstable that it is possible that Diego Simeone and the German Burgos, Atletico Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts are standing nearby.

Griezmann’s delay in joining Barcelona has predictably alienated part of the cules and increase his fees by 20 million euros. His fascination with the Uruguayans – due to his close friendship with former Atletico teammate Diego Godin – was ridiculed by Luis Suarez at the last World Cup and France Football wrote in February Griezmann felt “isolated” in Barcelona. These statements were denied by Griezmann officials, but Griezmann was disappointed with a self-absorbed attack in which he was crowded on the left flank.

Last week, sport published an article titled: “Barcelona put Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market”. Inevitably, Manchester United was mentioned. United has renounced its summer position on Bruno Fernandes, but the prospect that they will move to Griezmann is now as fanciful as the return of football in early May.

“I always ask Paul Pogba questions about Manchester United,” said Griezmann in November 2016. “I think it’s a huge club with very good infrastructure. Jose Mourinho had designated Griezmann as the “wizard’s” attacker to improve the attack on the United States just months after his tenure, but in March he began to have doubts about finalizing a deal. On the French television channel Daily, Griezmann teased that there was a 60% chance of moving to United.

Griezmann’s brother Theo claimed to be a United fan and teased Twitter followers throughout the 2016-17 season and they probably still make up the majority of his 70,500 followers. Theo Griezmann Retweeted Daily Antoine’s video and endorsed his comments by posting a smiling emoji. Next week, Griezmann signed a new contract with Atletico after the Sports Arbitral Tribunal confirmed its one-year transfer ban.

United, surprised and despised, they saw that they had “cooled” their interest when they had been publicly rejected. The club kept the line of dialogue open with Griezmann’s side but, at the end of 2017, it was resigned to its departure for Barcelona and Mourinho had already touched base with Mesut Ozil. United finally pushed away Alexis Sanchez.

Restarting recruiting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan, chaired more than a year ago, have focused on targets captivated by the prospect of playing for United. That would seem to reduce Griezmann, regardless of his fascination with David Beckham and his long-sleeved tribute to the great United.

Griezmann, playing Old Trafford for Real Sociedad in 2013
Griezmann, playing Old Trafford for Real Sociedad in 2013

United has a preference for players aged 23 to 28 and favors British targets. At 29, Griezmann is too old to be considered a serious permanent addition and there is no indication that United would be receptive to the pursuit of a player who previously snubbed them.

As with Philippe Coutinho, Catalan sports newspapers have adopted this age-old tactic of tying an unwanted player from Barcelona to United – and other clubs – to smoke a true buyer. Romelu Lukaku followed the money and lasted two years, Alexis Sanchez put money on Manchester City and United passed on Paulo Dybala to his high salary demands in August.

Ed Woodward suppressed his desire for a team charged with Golden Ball contenders after United was burned to sign Angel di Maria, whose spirit was in Paris a year before fleeing Manchester. The humble Griezmann would integrate into PSG.


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