Antoine Griezmann is set to sign a new contract with Atletico Madrid that will tie him to the club until 2022, yet fresh reports in Spain suggest the deal will not include an increase in his €100m release clause.
Griezmann was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months, but the France striker decided to stay at Ateltico after the club failed in their bid to get their transfer ban lifted last month.
While United officials leaked an implausible story suggesting they had decided to ‘cool their interest’ in Griezmann, the reality was that they knew the striker had promised Atletico he would not leave this summer unless they had a chance to replace him with a big-name signing.
Griezmann has reiterated his commitment to Ateltico Madrid in recent days after walking away from a lucrative move to United and now he is set to be rewarded for his loyalty to Ateltico by being handed a bumper new contract, yet suggestions that the release clause has not been changed makes for an intriguing twist in this enduring transfer tale.
United were believed to be ready to pay the €100m asking price that compelled Atletico to sell Griezmann under the terms of his current contract, with the striker hinting last month that he was ready to end his enduring association with the Spanish capital city club as he looks to start winning major trophies.
Yet in a week when a new survey suggested Griezmann was worth around €150m in the current inflated transfer market, Atletico appear to be willing to accept their star striker will eventually leave for considerably less than that.
Reporter Antonio Ruiz – who has is a reliable source of news emerging from Ateltico Madrid – is confirming that the new contract for Griezmann has been agreed, with the release clause remaining at €100m.
If that proves to be the case, United can be expected to make a fresh move for Griezmann next year, with the prospect of a move in January’s transfer window a real possibility if they are successful in lining up replacements.
Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette had all but agreed a move to Ateltico as they looks to life after Griezmann, while Chelsea striker Diego Costa is also keen to seal a move back to his former club after being told he is no longer part of the plans of Blues boss Antonio Conte.
If either Lacazette or Costa could be enticed to sign for Atletico Madrid and even though they will not be able to play for the club until January, United could try to set up a deal to sign Griezmann in the opening month of 2018.
A more likely scenario would see Griezmann making his move from Atletico Madrid next summer, with United very much in pole position to land a striker who has made it clear he is open to a move to Old Trafford.