“Bruno Fernandes Issue Raised as Manchester United Urged to Rethink ‘World-Class’ Deal”
Bruno Fernandes may be preventing Manchester United from securing a third January signing.
Manchester United have been pushed to re-sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid this month as the club’s third January signing, following Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland. Erik ten Hag’s side has attempted to sign the French forward on many occasions during the summer transfer window.
Griezmann was on loan from Barcelona at the time as part of a convoluted arrangement that required Diego Simeone’s side to buy him permanently if he played 30 minutes or more in more than half of their matches, albeit he was limited to second-half cameos to avoid the club making the obligation. In October, Atletico bought the 2018 World Cup winner outright, but only after United considered a move.
Sky Sports reported that when United executives were in Spain in the summer to finalize a £60 million deal for Casemiro, they met with Griezmann’s representatives as part of an enquiry for his talents, but decided against a move owing in part to the unique loan conditions he was involved in.
Former Tottenham and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes United should re-sign “world-class” Griezmann in January because he will provide another option going forward, though he admits that Bruno Fernandes could be a concern.
“Listen, we saw at the World Cup what a world-class player he [Griezmann] was,” Robinson told Football Insider. “He was in the conversation for the player of the tournament. He has so much more to give. I wonder where he would play at Man United though because Fernandes plays in that eight role.
“ Perhaps he could be an alternative to Weghorst or [Anthony] Martial up top. He is a very different style of player but he can play as a nine. Griezmann would be an amazing signing. He is still a world-class player. He is a big player for the big games. If United keep heading the way that they are he would be a very useful signing. It would be a statement signing even though he is at the end of his career. I think he would excite fans a bit more than Weghorst.”
Griezmann has had another outstanding season in La Liga, scoring six goals and assisting six times so far this season. Following his permanent move, he has returned to being a regular starter after a rumoured low-cost £17 million departure from Barcelona.
It remains to be seen whether Atletico Madrid would be willing to sell Griezmann or even if he would contemplate leaving, however United may choose for a more traditional number nine instead of the Frenchman.
Griezmann has played more in midfield in recent years, while Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are at the top of United’s summer transfer list.