Barcelona deemed frontrunners to pursue Atletico Madrid ace

Spanish giants Barcelona are reportedly favourites to pursue a future move to Antoine Griezmann with Manchester United said to have dropped their interest in his services. The Atletico Madrid forward was heavily linked with Jose Mourinho’s side in the summer, but ultimately decided to extend his stay with the Spanish club, owing to their failure to overturn their transfer embargo.

Since then, Griezmann has had mixed fortunes in terms of goalscoring, but he has still attracted interest from United with Mourinho understood to be a long-term admirer of the former Real Sociedad man. According to Marca, the Red Devils are not keen on a deal for the Frenchman anymore as they are likely to match his valuation, which currently stands at around £86m.

As a result, Barcelona, who have recently made contact with the player’s entourage, are said to be leading the race, though there are still complications over the deal. Ernesto Valverde’s side are planning to revive their interest in Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho next month, and it is suggested that the club may not be able to recruit both the players for a sum which could exceed £192m.

Meanwhile, there is also an apparent loss of trust with Atleti lodging a formal complaint with FIFA over an illegal approach made by the Catalan giants earlier this month. Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu met up with the player’s family to discuss a potential move to the Camp Nou, and this has not gone well with the Capital outfit, who are still in the running for domestic and European success this term.

Griezmann has contributed five goals and three assist for Atletico Madrid, who are currently nine points adrift of Barcelona in the title race. They also have continental football to play for in the Europa League, where they are deemed favourites to beat the likes of Arsenal and Napoli to the crown.

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