The Frenchman appears to have ruled out a summer transfer by pledging his loyalty to the Rojiblancos on social media following their CAS punishment
Antoine Griezmann has pledged his loyalty to Atletico Madrid after their transfer ban was upheld, appearing to rule out a summer move to Manchester United in the process.
United have been heavily linked with the Frenchman but Atletico’s inability to sign a replacement because of their ban has dealt a severe blow to the Red Devils’ hopes of sealing his signing.
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And Griezmann appears to have now poured cold water on the potential switch by tweeting “Now more than ever, Atleti” hours after the Spanish club’s appeal against the punishment was rejected.
Ahora más que nunca #Atleti #Todosjuntos pic.twitter.com/nfxcwInM2B
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) June 1, 2017
Atletico had been tipped to move for Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette in the coming months but will now be unable to sign players until January 2018.
That looks set to at least delay a move that could have challenged the world transfer record, with Griezmann’s buy-out clause reportedly set at around €100 million.
Reports in the British press on Thursday morning suggested United were instead turning their attention to a No.9 to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti all linked.
Griezmann, 26, scored 26 goals during the 2016-17 season and placed third in the Ballon d’Or voting in December.
His commitment to Atletico will come as a huge boost for Diego Simeone, with Kevin Gameiro his side’s second top scorer this past campaign with 16 in all competitions and Fernando Torres out of contract.
Atleti were handed a two-window transfer ban for breaching FIFA regulations regarding the acquisition of foreign players under the age of 18.
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Half of the punishment was served during the most recent January transfer window, but having expected to have the ban overturned upon appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Rojiblancos’ summer plans have now been left in tatters.
They could opt to bring the likes of Luciano Vietto and Matias Kranevitter back from loans to bolster their squad, though Theo Hernandez, who spent the season at Alaves, has been heavily tipped to join Real Madrid.