Lionel Messi wants Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona
When Lionel Messi speaks, Barcelona officials listen. That means the Catalan giants will certainly make every attempt to pip Manchester United in the race to sign Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann.
Reports from Spain claim the Argentine genius wants to see the French goal scorer line up next to him next season. That news should set off alarm bells all over Old Trafford. Manchester United have been leading the race for Griezmann’s services for most of the season.
Money isn’t likely to be an obstacle for either club. Both Barcelona and United have more than enough money in the coffers to meet Griezmann’s release clause. That means it will be up to the Frenchman to decide where he wants to ply his trade moving forward.
Both clubs have the ability to present a very compelling case. Mourinho will try to sell Griezmann on the fact that he is the missing link in United’s attack. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has done a passable job leading the line this year, but Griezmann is the far superior player. His arrival at Old Trafford would likely usher Zlatan to MLS.
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Barcelona will try convince Griezmann that he’s the perfect complement to Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez at Camp Nou. The obvious question is whether or not there is enough room on the field for all four attacking superstars at once. The likely solution to that conundrum would be to drop Messi back into more of a number ten role. There, he could pull the strings for three of the most dangerous goal scorers on Earth. That thought should frighten the rest of La Liga.
In the end, Manchester United should still hold a slight edge. They offer Griezmann the clearest path to regular playing time. Additionally, the Frenchman seems to hold his current club in high esteem. My sense is that he’d rather move to England than be forced to compete against Diego Simeone multiple times every year.
Even so, Manchester United need to be wary of the magic of Lionel Messi. Providing his club an assist to sign Antoine Griezmann certainly isn’t out of the question.