French journalist Julien Laurens: Paul Pogba wants Antoine Griezmann at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

French journalist Julien Laurens has revealed that Paul Pogba wants Antoine Griezmann to join Manchester United next summer.

Jose Mourinho came close to securing his signature last summer and has maintained interest in the forward as he looks to add a ‘magician’ forward to his ranks.

Pogba and Griezmann have an excellent relationship off the pitch – as seen by their embrace following France’s friendly with Wales earlier this season.

And according to Laurens, Old Trafford remains a ‘credible option’ for Griezmann next summer due to the natural chemistry he has with Pogba.

“It’s going to be interesting because he hasn’t had a very good season so far compared to what we have been used to before,” he said. “He was very close to leaving in the summer but stayed being loyal to the club because they couldn’t sign anyone to play before January.”

“Now it looks maybe like Barcelona will be his favourite destination, although I do not know if they will have the 100m euro to pay his release fee. His friend Paul Pogba is very keen for him to join Manchetser United so that remains a very credible option for him.

“There is also Real Madrid who at some point will have to buy a big name star. However, if he does not improve or have a good World Cup then some clubs will be put off. The release clause is quite affordable to most top clubs but his wages are very high. The next six months are going to be huge for him.”

Barcelona are still firmly in the driving seat to sign Griezmann, who harbours doubts about uprooting his young family to Manchester, and have reportedly entered advanced talks with the Frenchman ahead of activating his £90m release clause over the summer.

However, any move to the Nou Camp would be contingent on players going the other way after the club splashed out £142m on Philipe Coutinho this month: Rafinha, Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Denis Suarez are the most likely to depart, but this would be some process to mitigate, and United – just like they did with Romelu Lukaku – could launch a surprise swoop.

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