Manchester United and Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann has reportedly warned Atletico Madrid that he may have no choice but to quit the club if goalkeeper Jan Oblak is allowed to leave before the end of the summer.
Atletico are barred from registering new players until January after losing their final appeal against a transfer ban, with the potential departure of Oblak – PSG have been linked – a severe blow if it comes to pass.
Griezmann himself committed to Atletico in the wake of the failed ban appeal so as not to leave the club high and dry, but Don Balon has alleged he is now threatening to leave should others, specifically Oblak, be sold.
The Spanish outlet, infamous in recent years for bold and sometimes spurious claims, suggests that Griezmann has spoken ‘seriously’ with coach Diego Simeone, leading to an ‘ultimatum’.
United and Barcelona fans will surely be intrigued, but if there is any truth to the gossip it is unlikely to be a transfer that could be completed quickly in what remains of the transfer window.
Earlier this summer it was suggested that while Griezmann’s €100m release clause will remain the same despite recently signing a new Atletico contract, it has been temporarily raised to €200m for this summer only to provide the club with an extra layer of protection.
Barcelona could still be tempted should the French international really insist on leaving, but finances will make any approach virtually impossible if they are still intent on signing Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele – there is already chance they cannot afford both of those.
Manchester United are still in the market for an attacking player, but an out-and-out winger, rather than someone like Griezmann. Interest from Old Trafford therefore isn’t likely to be resurrected until next summer.