Depending on who you believe, Antoine Griezmann is either basically a Manchester United player, considering a deal or completely satisfied at Atletico Madrid.
However, it is looking increasingly likely that the diminutive Frenchman will make the switch to his supposed boyhood love that is the Theatre of Dreams. But with the outrageously talented options already at Jose Mourinho’s disposal, where will Griezmann fit in?
We used LineupBuilder to imagine how the Special One could shape his side next season.
Central Striker (4-3-3)
This almost certainly isn’t how Mourinho will decide to go should the former Real Sociedad forward arrive in the summer but it’s probably how the majority of fans would like to see their team line out. A position such as this isn’t where Griezmann operates best but his ability to play a number of positions is likely what makes him so appealing to Jose.
Number 10 (4-2-3-1)
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost certainly staying on past this season, and the “special relationship” he shares with his boss, the Swede will presumably retain his untouchable starting spot. It does, however, allow “Grizou” to perform in his preferred spot.
His best football at the Vicente Calderon has been when playing off Mario Mandzukic, a striker similar in style to the former PSG man and he could form a comparable connection with United’s number nine.
Inside Forward (4-2-3-1)
Despite a number of absolutely rapid attackers on United’s books, their attacking play has often lacked a real pace. A forward line resembling this would terrify teams around them and delight the fans. The drawback of both this and the above, however, is the switch to a two-man midfield and a stifling of Paul Pogba’s talents.
If the world’s most expensive player is joined on Sir Matt Busby Way by his compatriot, United will have to decide which one they want to build a team around.
During his early years as a manager, Mourinho usually favoured a diamond midfield with a pair of strikers leading the line. He could revert to either that system or, as we have here, a flatter central four.
Again, Paul Pogba loses his preferred spot and the more defensively able (and less offensively effective) Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata would have to be reintoduced, but a partnership of Marcus Rashford and Griezmann is just too good not to consider.
Like the previous option, this is almost impossible but nevertheless exciting. Back threes are the flavour of the month at the moment but the former Inter tactician has never been a fan and none of United’s current defensive options are comfortable enough on the ball to play the “David Luiz” role.
However, it does allow him to get more of his attackers on the pitch, something he’s frequently advocated since his arrival at Old Trafford.
Finally, Griezmann could feature as the sole striker in a 4-2-3-1 with the pace of Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan behind him alongside Juan Mata. Another of the more popular selections with the fans but the absence of Ibrahimovic means it’s unlikely to be seen.