Manchester United splurged £75million on Everton hitman Romelu Lukaku this month, with Jose Mourinho saying he was their top target all along.
Of course he would. The second most-expensive player in the club's long and illustrious history cannot be labelled anything else.
But Griezmann, not Lukaku, was their No1 choice. Had Atletico Madrid not been banned from signing players the France international would already be at Old Trafford – with the club's famous No7 shirt on his back.
In the immediate aftermath of United's Europa League final win over Ajax, all signs pointed to a mutual affection for each other.
His partner in crime Paul Pogba was copying the striker's 'hotline bling' celebration on Instagram. How about that for a hint. Also, when asked directly if his compatriot would make the move to Old Trafford, he said 'watch this space.'
Mourinho also contributed in his own, sulky, subliminal manner. He dodged questions but Express Sport understands he dreamed of signing Griezmann more than any other player.
What Antoine Griezmann has said about his future Sun, June 4, 2017
What has Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann said about his future?
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Speaking to French broadcaster Telefoot in June…
The player himself himself did nothing to dispel the rumours. He rated the chances of a transfer at six out of 10 on a French TV show before then declaring his love for Atletico. Mixed messages but with a very obvious undercurrent.
Before Lukaku, United were going all out for Alvaro Morata. Real Madrid's best bench warmer.
He netted 20 goals from an impressive 42 games last season but the fact Madrid won both La Liga and the Champions League was more down to the contribution of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos and Isco.
Real want £80million for the player, but why? Why take a gamble on a B team player when you can get the finished product for £9m more, albeit 12 months down the line.
Mourinho has called off their pursuit but their remains a desire, albeit less so than before, to get a deal for Morata done. But United would be better off waiting for Griezmann instead.
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Another year at Atletico beckons but the forward is more than likely to again live up to his superstar billing. And, despite penning a new contract with Atletico (albeit with the same buyout clause of £89m), he just will not rule out a move.
Antoine Griezmann would be worth the money for Manchester United
Manchester United should give up on Alvaro Morata and go for Antoine Griezmann instead
“To be honest, I don’t know. I’m going to be here next season, after that we’ll see," he told Four Four Two last month.
“It’s absurd to talk about something more than a year away.
“I stayed mainly because of the ban. Atletico need me more than ever. It would be dirty to leave.
“I wouldn’t have been myself or the person that I feel I am today, if I had left the club in that way.”
So if Lukaku gets off to a barren run, it would not be unfeasible to imagine Mourinho hunting Griezmann again in the New Year.
He remains eager to sign the France striker and the fact his buyout clause has stayed at a relatively cool £89m will not bother the Red Devils in the slightest.
Morata, meanwhile, faces another season stuck on the sidelines unless Real change their demands. With Florentino Perez in charge, that is far from likely.