Manchester United face a battle to convince Antoine Griezmann to move to Old Trafford if they decide to reignite their interest this summer, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.
United were interested in the France international last summer before switching their focus to signing a centre forward — ultimately agreeing a £75 million deal with Everton for Romelu Lukaku.
Griezmann, meanwhile, opted to stay at Atletico and sign a new contract while the Spanish club served a transfer ban and moved into a new stadium.
The 26-year-old is expected to leave at the end of the season, with United among his potential suitors.
He is unlikely to leave during the January transfer window, despite Atletico’s early exit from the Champions League. Griezmann’s buy-out clause of €100m makes the forward an attractive prospect in a market where Neymar cost Paris Saint-Germain €222m and Coutinho is priced at €160m.
However, sources have told ESPN FC that while Griezmann is open to a move to Old Trafford he would ideally like to stay in Spain and that he, along with his wife, Erika Choperena, have reservations about swapping Madrid for Manchester.
Sources have also told ESPN FC that Barcelona are still monitoring the former Real Sociedad man, despite making Coutinho the second most expensive player ever this week.
In December, FIFA revealed it had received a complaint from Atletico Madrid about Barcelona’s attempts to lure Griezmann to Camp Nou. Barcelona have denied the claims.
United are expected to sign up to four new players ahead of next season including one manager Jose Mourinho says will “cost a lot.”
They have been linked with Griezmann, as well as Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.