Football: Antoine Griezmann a key factor as Chelsea aim for win in Champions League

Atletico's Antoine Griezmann says of his long-term plans in his autobiography: "Manchester United is a possibility." His form will be vital in the Champions League clash with Chelsea.
Atletico's Antoine Griezmann says of his long-term plans in his autobiography: "Manchester United is a possibility." His form will be vital in the Champions League clash with Chelsea.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MADRID • As Antoine Griezmann hopes to keep Atletico Madrid's faint Champions League hopes alive at Stamford Bridge, the stage is also set for the Frenchman to showcase his talents to Premier League suitors.

Atletico need to beat Chelsea in London today and hope Roma do not beat Champions League debutants Qarabag in the Italian capital if they are to make the last 16 for a fifth consecutive season.

The financial blow an early exit would bring to Atletico - finalists in 2014 and last year - could precipitate Griezmann's departure from the Spanish capital.

The France forward is heavily linked with a move to LaLiga rivals Real Madrid or Barcelona. But the former Arsenal target has yet to rule out a move to Manchester United, who seemed willing to meet his €100 million (S$159 million) buyout clause last summer.

One chapter in his newly-released autobiography, Behind The Smile, opens with "I don't know if one day I will wear the Manchester United jersey".

The 26-year-old also wrote: "I have nothing against England, apart from the weather. Manchester United is a possibility. Although I love (France team-mate) Paul Pogba a lot, that he is a Red Devil will not affect my decision."

Griezmann has scored four goals in his three games, including a late winner against his former side Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Chelsea have already qualified for the knockout stage but need a win to guarantee top spot.

Blues manager Antonio Conte has indicated that he wants his side to win Group C, even though that could result in a last-16 clash against holders Real Madrid.

"The most important thing is to reach the next stage, but for our mission and our confidence, it would be right to win and arrive first," said the Italian.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CHELSEA V ATLETICO

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2017, with the headline 'Griezmann a key factor as Chelsea aim for win'. Print Edition | Subscribe