Just a week ago, it seemed like Manchester United had all but secured the signing of Antoine Griezmann after a flurry of reports suggested the deal was effectively done.
In the past days however, comments from Atletico Madrid, conflicting stories and a club denial have all cast the move in doubt.
If the Frenchman doesn’t arrive, we’ve analysed five alternatives for Jose Mourinho to consider. We’ve tried to identify players similar to Griezmann in both age, style of play and potential availability. So although Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku could be great signings, they’ve been omitted as it’s hard to foresee either club letting their star man go to a Premier League side.
Although Dolberg stands at over six feet, dwindling the diminutive Griezmann, the pair are very similar in their play. The Ajax forward offers more of a presence up front but also possesses Grizou’s terrifying pace and his long-range shooting.
Originally spotted by the same scout who picked out Christian Eriksen and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Dolberg at just nineteen has already proven himself to be one of the most exciting young players in Europe.
He’s an out-and-out centre-forward and lacks the versatility of the Atleti star but could be an eventual heir to not just Wayne Rooney but Zlatan too.
Another famously quick young player, Timo Werner has been key to RB Leipzig’s phenomenal campaign with he and Yussuf Poulsen’s partnership up front making Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side one of the most fearsome teams to play against across the continent.
Werner’s netted eleven times this season in just 18 games, a mightily impressive total for a 20-year-old. He will have to adapt his game somewhat if he was to ply his trade under Mourinho with his high-intensity pressing unlikely to appeal to the Special One.
The name of Alexandre Lacazette will be far more familiar to fans in England after Arsenal’s repeated attempts to sign him last summer. At 25, he doesn’t quite have as many years at the top-level as the rest of our candidates but is a more proven option.
His stats this season speak for themselves. He scores more than a goal a game, he creates over 1.5 chances each game and completes a similar number of key passes. He also boasts a better shooting accuracy than United’s current top-scorer, Ibrahimovic.
Much like Lacazette, Icardi offers something different in his play to Griezmann. The Inter captain is a more powerful striker but they do share a clinical nature and a leadership quality that belies their tender ages.
Icardi boasts 17 goals in 26 games for an Inter side that are still outside the Champions League places.
“Gallo” has quickly established himself as one of the most promising young attackers in the game. Fifteen goals in nineteen starts this term suggest he’s already the finished product. In the ilk of Griezmann, Bellotti can operate effectively across the frontline but is best when played centrally.
His defensive capabilities are an added bonus.