Manchester United has made a strong start to its Premier League campaign but still looks set to enter the transfer market in January when it will try to sign one of the world’s best forwards in Antoine Griezmann.
United has gone undefeated in its opening four games, of which it has won three. In that stretch of games, United found the back of the net 12 times, averaging a remarkable three goals per game.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stoke City saw some defensive issues come to the fore, but manager Jose Mourinho will be delighted with the way his team has played going forward. After a disappointing sixth-place finish last term, Manchester looks ready for a tilt at the title this season.
However, while United has begun in a positive fashion, it still is reportedly keen to add to its squad come the January transfer window.
Here, our friends at Football Whispers explain why Griezmann could be the man United brings in.
Manchester United sets aside the No. 7 jersey
Manchester United’s No.7 is one of the most iconic shirts in football. Wearing it means shouldering the weight of a glorious history, with many great names to have adorned the jersey in the past.
In recent years, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham furthered the status of the No.7. Both players, in their own unique ways, transcended the game with their talents and personas. But even before them, the likes of Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and George Best wore the jersey.
Manchester United kept this number free going into the start of the season. This may have had something to do with its inability to land a quality winger, with Ivan Perisic staying at Inter Milan and Gareth Bale remaining with Real Madrid.
Should Manchester look to fill the vacant number in January, Griezmann is one of the few players in the world capable of doing so. He is world class and, intriguingly, wears the same number for Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann seems receptive
Having been linked persistently with a move to Old Trafford at the start of the summer transfer window, Griezmann did little to end the speculation. Rather, he spoke out on the matter on French television, giving the chances of the move happening “six out of 10.”
And, while he eventually decided to stay when Atletico’s transfer ban was upheld, the Frenchman always will be a Manchester United target as a result of his previous unwillingness to discount those rumors.
Griezmann seemed receptive in the summer and, having seen United improve and mature into a serious Premier League force, he will only be keener for the move down the line.
Atletico Madrid could be more willing to sell in January
Come January 2018, Atletico Madrid will once again be able to register new players. Its transfer ban will be over, meaning new arrivals are likely to occur. One obvious addition should be Diego Costa, who might rejoin them from Chelsea.
Should the Spain international return to the club, the onus placed on Griezmann — who also has been subject of Real Madrid transfer talk — to score goals would decrease, which may, in turn, make them more open to considering offers for their star attacker.
Jose Mourinho likes the January transfer window
Throughout his managerial career, Mourinho has used the January transfer window. During his two years at Porto, he used it to sign Marco Ferreira (2003) and Carlos Alberto (2004), while in his five full seasons with Chelsea he made five January signings.
In 2005, he brought in Jiri Jarosik, while in 2006 he signed Maniche. During the midway point of his first campaign back at Stamford Bridge he added three big names: Nemanja Matic, Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma. Then, in 2015, he signed Juan Cuadrado.
Mourinho is unafraid to use the January window as an opportunity to strengthen his hand, even if his squad is already performing well. If anything, the sniff of a Premier League title on the horizon may only increase his desire to add quality players such as Griezmann.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/LaLiga
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