By 90Min
December 01, 2017

The Antoine Griezmann saga is set to return in full force over the coming weeks and months as every detail of the French forward's future is played out in an agonising media spectacle until a time when he either has a new club or the 2018 summer transfer window is closed.

Griezmann was heavily linked with Manchester United last summer, only for Atletico Madrid to see their FIFA-imposed transfer ban upheld after a final appeal and the player to subsequently commit to Los Rojiblancos for another season so as not to leave them high and dry.

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He signed a new contract with improved terms and his buyout clause temporarily doubled from €100m to €200m to ward off immediate suitors. But the fact it will return to a relatively affordable €100m has been taken as a firm clue that his future lies away from Atletico.

But United aren't the only club interested in Griezmann. Despite everything pointing to a move to Old Trafford come summer, Spanish gossip outlet Don Balon has claimed this week that the player has asked Barcelona to commit to triggering his €100m clause.

The 26-year-old, who has only scored six goals in 16 games in all competitions so far this season, is apparently to avoid a 'soap opera' situation developing and wants assurances early. 

He is alleged to be worried he will be left with nothing if he believes he is going to Barcelona, only for the famously short of cash Catalans to later shy away from paying the full clause.

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That report would appear to suggest that his first choice in summer would be a move to Barcelona rather than Manchester United. Some might, and have, tried to call it a 'snub'.

In light of Griezmann's apparent flirting with Barcelona, a follow up report from Don Balon seems to suggest that United are growing uneasy amid the prospect of losing out.

With the team having played on Tuesday night, it is claimed that manager Jose Mourinho took a 'lightning trip' to Madrid, presumably on Wednesday, to 'remind' of Griezmann of promises he is alleged to have already made regarding a move to Manchester.

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Don Balon speak of an existing acceptance on the 'principles of a pre-agreement' for a transfer to United. Griezmann has often cited former United star David Beckham as his idol and therefore was thought to have already claimed the vacant number seven shirt for his arrival.

Other known factors that have pointed to United is the presence of close friend Paul Pogba at Old Trafford and an admittance in a new biography that joining the club is a 'possibility'.

It is far from clear exactly what the truth is, but Don Balon appears to be suggesting that Griezmann had made a decision to join United that he may now be having second thoughts about in light of the interest from Barcelona that has emerged since.

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Alternatively, it is more likely that he wants to make sure he is not closing any doors and is keeping his options open until a time when a decision must be made.

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