- Manchester United have made Antoine Griezmann their No 1 summer target
- However Atletico Madrid are unable to sign players during summer window
- Jose Mourinho may have to turn attention to Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez
- Chelsea striker Diego Costa may now stay at Stamford Bridge due to ban
- Read: Manchester United rethink £86m Antoine Griezmann transfer
tletico Madrid have been hit with news that they will not be able to sign players this summer but it will not only affect the Spanish side.
Manchester United fans will be worried as it could have implications on Antoine Griezmann’s proposed transfer to Old Trafford.
Sportsmail’s man in Spain, Pete Jenson, reveals what will happen with Griezmann and Chelsea’s Diego Costa after the ban was upheld…
Antoine Griezmann’s big summer move to Manchester United could now be off
So Atletico going to a new stadium but with the same old players?
It would seem that way. Some of those ‘same old players’ are world class of course. But they would love to have made a big impact in the transfer market this summer as they get ready to debut in their new arena. Their big summer signing now needs to be Antoine Griezmann penning a new contract.
Bad news for Manchester United then?
Probably. The Frenchman’s agent Inaki Ibanez already has an offer on the table from Atletico believed to be around €10m (£8.7m) net a season – around £190k a week net.
United’s offer is understood to be closer to £300k gross. Griezmann will now expect an improved offer from the Spanish side. They cannot spend it in the transfer market so they can put it towards making sure the best player they have stays.
That is certainly what Diego Simeone will be demanding. He has not agreed to stay to see them lose their star without being able to replace him.
So Griezmann now definitely stays?
Not necessarily. If United pay his €100m (£87m) buy-out clause then he can still walk away – that’s why buy-out clauses exist. He would be monumentally unpopular if he left now but he has already got on the wrong side of many supporters with his dalliance with United so that might not bother him.
Simeone will certainly be asking for him to stay. The club could incentivise him staying but giving him more money and leaving his buy-out untouched so he can leave next summer instead. There is plenty more talking to be done.
Would Simeone walk if Griezmann was sold?
This is some picture you’re painting for Atletico Madrid fans – no Vicente Calderon stadium, no Griezmann, no Simeone! He wouldn’t walk away but there is no way he wants to start next season with 33-year-old Fernando Torres and not ‘quite in the France squad’ Kevin Gameiro as his front two.
He wants to compete with Madrid and Barcelona not watch them disappear into the distance before Christmas.
What other potential deals are derailed by this news…
The dream of bringing Diego Costa back is wrecked again. They also had Everton target Sandro Ramirez, Sevilla winger Vitolo and Manchester City’s Nolito waiting in the wings but they will not be able to register any of them at the start the season.
Clubs hoping to sign keeper Jan Oblak or midfielder Saul Niguez are also scuppered.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa will be denied the chance of returning to Atletico Madrid
So all deals off?
Barcelona got around their ban by signing players but not registering them. Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan arrived from Sevilla and Atletico Madrid and did nothing but train for four months until they were allowed to play.
Atletico can register players from January so if any of their targets can be persuaded to join and then not play for the first half of the season they could still arrive. But asking players to do that, and in a World Cup year, will be tough. And what Atletico cannot do is buy players and then loan them out until January.
What they could do with the Sandro deal is agree unofficially to sign him and then leave him at Malaga until January.
Can they recall loans?
Yes and they have plenty of them. They have defensive midfielder Matias Kranevitter and forward Lucio Vietto at Sevilla. Attacker Santos Borre at Villarreal, midfielder Diogo Jotta at Porto, defender Javier Manquillo at Sunderland, defender Emiliano Velazquez at Braga, keeper Axel Werner at Boca, full back Guilherme Siqueira at Valencia, speedy striker Amath at Tenerfie and centre forward Hector Hernandez at Albacete.
The trouble is this is a mix of young players they want to gain experience elsewhere and older players who they really want to sell. None looks like a regular starter for next season.
So what scenario do we see on the horizon?
Griezmann being offered a monster new deal to remain at the Calderon. Premier League clubs such as Liverpool looking at Vitolo again, now that Simeone cannot sign him. Sandro staying at Malaga until the end of the year and then joining Atletico in 2018.
Griezmann will play under either Diego Simeone (left) or Jose Mourinho (right) next season
Anyone else whose situation changes?
Well if it turns out United now can’t sign Griezmann, James Rodriguez rears his head as a prospect once more. Maybe Gareth Bale is back on the table too.
Another call from Jose to Gareth?
Bale wants to stay at Madrid but Manchester United have not given up on persuading him to change his mind.
Real Madrid want to sign Kylian Mbappe so perhaps they will now find United’s money more appealing if they know they can spend it in Monaco and fill the gap immediately.Rodriguez would be far easier to get though. Not the same player as Griezmann but attacking flair for a team that lacks it. We know he doesn’t top Mourinho’s wish-list but Ed Woodward would see the value for sure.
Manchester United could renew their interest in Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale