Towards the end of October, Sport Witness covered claims from Spain that Antoine Greizmann’s Atletico Madrid position was increasingly difficult… because of Manchester United.
It was explained, by El Confidencial and others, that Greizmann’s summer of flirting with Manchester United hadn’t exactly endeared him to Atletico fans. Agreeing to stay at the Spanish club after their transfer ban wasn’t reduced didn’t fix everything in the eyes of some rojiblancos and the player’s subsequent below par form hasn’t helped.
Regarding Griezmann’s Manchester United comments, El Confidencial stated “He said it elegantly, but he said it”. There’s clearly no hiding behind semantics at Atletico.
A few days later Marca waded in, saying Griezmann hasn’t been right since his ‘bizarre episode’ with Manchester United. The Frenchman had gone missing ‘physically and mentally’.
As we pointed out at the time, a lot of it seemed well over the top. Griezmann hasn’t been in great form this season, but he’s certainly not been terrible and some have been choosing him as the scapegoat, perhaps knowing he’s likely leaving anyway.
Saturday evening saw the Madrid derby, and Griezmann came off with around 15 minutes to go. Although it wasn’t clearly audible via broadcast, the Madrid media are insistent Atletico’s fans didn’t respond well to him and there were whistles.
Asked about it after the match, Diego Simeone said: “What I feel and have lived since I was a child is that those in my family, until the day they aren’t with me, I’ll go to the death with them.”
He clearly wasn’t impressed with the crowd.
On Sunday, El Confidencial say there’s distrust among fans who don’t believe Griezmann is giving everything. The player’s ‘messages of love’ to Manchester United are mentioned once again, and it’s clearly annoyed some supporters.
With the open acceptance Griezmann’s departure has been delayed rather cancelled, a move to Manchester United to join up with Jose Mourinho could happen soon. That would obviously depend on the plans at Old Trafford, where it’s easily arguable others have been brought in for the position Griezmann actually plays in now.
There have been links with Barcelona in the Catalan press recently, but then a whole series of ‘Coutinho alternatives’ have been picked out, regardless of whether they play anything like the Brazilian.