Ronaldo pushed to leave the club during the summer transfer window so that he could play Champions League football, but his wish was not granted. The Portuguese has not been Erik ten Hag’s favoured option in the centre-forward position so far this season, starting just one Premier League game.
Griezmann is technically on loan at Atletico Madrid from Barcelona, but Diego Simeone’s side are obliged him to sign him permanently if he plays 50% of the matches for which he is available.
O’Rourke says that United will move for another forward if Ronaldo departs midway through the season, believing that Griezmann’s track record will appeal to the Old Trafford hierarchy.
He told GiveMeSport: “We don’t know what’s going to happen with Ronaldo, is he going to stay or go in January? I think if something like that was to happen, then Ten Hag would like to bring another forward in.
“I’m sure Griezmann, with his CV and calibre, and potential availability, could be a live target in January.”
Griezmann is at the centre of a remarkable situation right now, with Barcelona apparently concerned that Atletico are deliberately holding him back to avoid their £33.8m purchase obligation (via The Daily Mail).
Dermot Corrigan of The Athletic says that the situation is ‘becoming a joke’, and you wonder if the player will eventually lose patience and push for an exit route.
After all, the 31-year-old is a World Cup, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup winner who once top scored at the European Championships (Transfermarkt), so he may justifiably feel that he deserves better than to get sporadic game-time at Atletico.
France manager Didier Deschamps says that Griezmann’s ability to ‘think outside the box’ makes him ‘remarkable to watch’ and believes he’s ‘one of the greatest players of all time’.
With a career haul of 273 goals for club and country, United could do a lot worse than bringing in the Frenchman as Ronaldo’s successor.
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