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Manchester United: Forget Antoine Griezmann and sign Alvaro Morata


Antoine Griezmann has been one of the top strikers in Europe for the past few years. Whether he is the best remains to be seen but that hasn't stopped Manchester United from chasing him all summer. As it stands, that move looks set to fall through. It is looking more and more likely that the Frenchman will stay at Atletico Madrid. Was he simply using United to get a reaction out of his current employers?

What is absolutely certain is that Jose Mourinho needs a proven top class finisher. United struggled badly last season when it came to killing games off. The number of drawn games from positions where they were ahead cost them an automatic place in the Champions League.

Coming 6th in the League wasn't on the agenda at the start of the 2016-17 campaign. There is no doubt that Sun Bets will have United as one of the title favourites again for 2017-18 but a lot will depend on who they sign.

The Champions League Card

The big advantage for Jose Mourinho is that he can now offer any top class striker the prospect of Champions League football. Winning the Europa League essentially got his season "out of jail". Two trophies and the Champions League is a good season but had it all gone pear shaped against Ajax in the final then United's season would have had a totally different slant.

Losing Ibrahimovic to injury was a big blow to their scoring potential. Marcus Rashford is still young and is learning his trade. He cannot be a long term permanent striking option and it is doubtful whether he would ever reach the potential of a Griezmann. So who else is on the horizon for United if Griezmann as expected turns them down?

Well United have also been linked to the Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata. At only 24, he is younger than Griezmann and could potentially be a longer term option. Morata hasn't played much football recently but that's a difficult thing to achieve at a team like Real Madrid. Despite that, he has still scored 15 goals in La Liga and clearly possess the type of firepower that United need.

Morata has played 1334 minutes in La Liga and only scored one goal less than Griezmann's 16 but the Frenchman has the vastly larger figure of 3067 minutes spent on the pitch. In terms of value, Morata would clearly be the better option. He would cost considerably less than Griezmann and would arguably produce an equally good return.

Both Could Struggle in the Premier League

There is every chance that both of them could struggle in a new league and the Premier League has left numerous big named signings struggling in the past. United know all too well how Paul Pogba has struggled this season and who can forget Juan Veron? The big problem for United is that Real Madrid are not a selling club.

Morata was a key back-up to Benzema last season and his 15 goals were a big assist to Real winning the title. Zinedine Zidane has a clear rotation policy and after winning back to back Champions Leagues, they will have the thirst for more next season. It is likely that United will fail to land either Griezmann or Morata and will have to look elsewhere. This would make the question of Griezmann or Morata a purely academic one.

United have the lure of Champions League football and working under Jose Mourinho to offer top players. They have the history of a massive club and 75,000 fans for every home game. The problem is that the top names are already at clubs that can offer that sort of thing. However this begs another question, do United still have the same pulling power to get the world's best at the peak of their careers? That is a question that Jose Mourinho will find the answer to this summer.

Author bio

Carl Sampson is a full time poker player, coach and sports writer. An ex-Betfair trader, he also has a very keen interest in sports betting.

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Alvaro Morata, Antoine Griezmann