LONDON • Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, with the forward to join in the summer window, say reports in France.
The 25-year-old is wanted by Jose Mourinho to bolster a forward line in which only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proved a success this term, the Swede having scored 19 goals.
If United do sign Griezmann, he may become the world's second most expensive player, as he has a €100 million (S$152.4 million) release clause in his contract, with Paul Pogba's £92.5 million (S$164 million) fee when joining United last summer the record.
On Wednesday night Canal Plus, a French TV station, claimed Griezmann has agreed personal terms with United. He could earn as much as fellow France international Pogba's £17.7 million annual salary, though the club have yet to agree on a fee with Atletico for a player contracted until 2021.
The Spanish club's president Enrique Cerezo last month revealed that United were pursuing the striker, while manager Diego Simeone has said that he will not hold back the team's prized asset.
Asked about the speculation over Griezmann's future, the latter was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: "I don't tie anybody down. I simply work in order to continue getting better for the good of the club."
Yet Simeone's own future at Madrid is in doubt. He expected to leave Atletico at the end of the season after shortening his contract last September by two years.
Earlier this week, his father Carlos said that the Argentinian - heavily tipped to replace Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman leaves Arsenal - will take up a fresh challenge outside Spain.
"He is very comfortable in Madrid. But I think that at some point, a change will come," he told Argentinian daily La Nacion.