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Man Utd made Antoine Griezmann transfer check before Barcelona completed deal


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made enquiries about signing long-term Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann in the summer.

That is according to The Athletic , but the former Atletico Madrid star opted to join Barcelona instead.

United are in desperate need of options up front after choosing to let both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez move to Inter Milan.

Solskjaer only has Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and teenager Mason Greenwood to call on.

The 46-year-old boss has been forced to rely almost exclusively on Rashford after Martial suffered a thigh injury in United’s 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in August.

United have severely struggled for goals so far this season, having only scored nine goals in eight Premier League games, so it is easy to see why they were interested in Griezmann.

The France international bagged 133 goals in 257 appearances for Atletico across five seasons at the club and would have certainly provided United with a welcome boost to their attacking ranks.

Griezmann had a £107 million release clause in his contract which the Red Devils could have triggered in order to negotiate personal terms with the player.

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However, the 28-year-old had long been keen on a move to Catalan giants Barcelona and once they paid his release clause, United stood no chance of securing Griezmann’s services.

The Frenchman completed his move to the Nou Camp in July, signing a five-year contract to bolster Barcelona’s already intimidating forward line further.

Having been unable to sign Griezmann, United failed to add a new forward to their squad before the end of the transfer window, with late moves for Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic also falling through.

Dybala was understood to be wary of signing for a team outside of the Champions League and demanded a massive wage in order to join the club.

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Barcelona paid Antoine Griezmann’s £107m release clause in July

Ultimately, United were concerned about the Argentine’s commitment to the team and were unwilling to pay him the money he wanted.

The move for Mandzukic could still happen, with the Croatian international currently out of favour under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.

Mandzukic would be available for a relatively cheap price and his experience of playing in three of Europe’s top leagues would certainly make him a welcome addition at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has made no secret of United’s need to sign a striker in the upcoming January transfer window and may well decide to go back in for Mandzukic.

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Manchester United could return to their pursuit of Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic in January

“We let Alexis and Romelu go, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that it’s a forward that next time we’re going to recruit – we’re looking for some creativity and goals,” Solskjaer said.

“There were strikers but they weren’t the ones we wanted. If we had the right one, we would have.

“It was time for Romelu to go. He knows that. He didn’t want to be here. What is the point in having players that don’t want to be here?

“And it’s no point getting players in that you’re not 100% sure about. When you get players in you need the right ones that are going to stay here for a longer period and that’s the long-term thinking we have to show.”



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