Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal on red alert to sign Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona… with striker’s Nou Camp future in doubt after Lionel Messi’s stunning U-turn
- Premier League clubs are on red alert to sign Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann
- Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal among sides who could be interested
- The Frenchman had been promised the Lionel Messi role by Ronald Koeman
- However, Messi’s decision to stay at Barcelona means those plans are in tatters
Griezmann had been promised the Messi role by new Barca boss Ronald Koeman had the Argentine legend left the Nou Camp but those plans are in tatters following Messi’s announcement on Friday that he won’t take Barcelona to court to force an early exit.
The U-turn has major repercussions on the remainder of the squad with Koeman needing to trim his squad to cater for Messi and allow young talents like 17-year-old Ansu Fati and winger Ousmane Dembele to shine.
Premier League clubs are on red alert to sign Antoine Griezmann after Lionel Messi’s U-turn
Though Barca are open to selling Philippe Coutinho, Koeman wants to have a look at the Brazilian who won the Champions League on loan with Bayern Munich last season.
That leaves 29-year-old Griezmann particularly vulnerable having failed to shine in Catalonia following his £107million move from Atletico Madrid last summer, scoring only nine goals in La Liga.
Griezmann, an ever-present in France’s triumphant 2018 campaign in Russia, has previously been linked with Liverpool whose pressing style under Jurgen Klopp mirrors the success he had at Atletico for Diego Simeone.
Griemzann could end up being the biggest loser from Messi’s decision to stay at Barcelona
Griezmann had been promised the Messi role by Ronald Koeman but those plans have altered
Arsenal and Manchester United have also been admirers though Barca would have to agree a major loss on their investment to make any deal happen. Manchester City currently only have Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero as recognised striker with the Argentine impacted by injuries last season.
Barca are willing to use the rest of the window until October to restructure their squad with Koeman yet to see his new players in any friendlies.
Barcelona are willing to bide their time as Koeman discusses the players he has at his disposal
Since the club were humiliated 8-2 in the Champions League by Bayern Munich, midfielder Ivan Rakitic has left for Sevilla with striker Luis Suarez set to join Juventus.
There is also nothing to stop clubs making bids of around £80million for Messi to test Barca’s resolve – aware they could lose him for nothing in 12 months time.
Manchester City aren’t commenting on their next move and may wait until January when they are allowed to speak to Messi about signing him on a free.
Manchester United aren’t in the running having prioritised winger Jadon Sancho and a centre-half in addition to midfielder Donny van de Beek who was signed last week for £35million.