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Juventus ‘eye Griezmann transfer’ as Ronaldo linked with Man Utd return

Juventus are considering a move for Antoine Griezmann in the event that Cristiano Ronaldo leaves this summer.

Fifth in Serie A going into the final weekend, Juve need to beat mid-table Bologna and hope that one of AC Milan or Napoli drops points to qualify for the Champions League next term. Ronaldo is highly unlikely to stay in Turin if they can only secure Europa League football.

Having joined Juve from Real Madrid in 2018 for £99.2m, he has had mixed success in Italy. While he has won the Scudetto twice along with the Coppa Italia, scoring 101 goals in 133 appearances along the way, the Bianconeri have failed to make an impression in Europe.

This season has already seen them cede the title to Inter Milan having previously won nine in a row. They have struggled under an inexperienced head coach in Andrea Pirlo and find themselves in need of a drastic overhaul.

Antoine Griezmann could be on the market this summer

There has long been speculation that Ronaldo could move back to Manchester United at some stage, having made his name at Old Trafford before becoming a global brand at the Bernabeu.

According to reports in the Spanish press , he is serious about returning to the Premier League and is willing to take a pay cut to facilitate the move.

That would leave Juve in need of a replacement and Italian newspaper La Stampa reports that Griezmann is among their targets. Signed from Atletico Madrid for around £107m in 2019, Greizmann has struggled to live up to expectations at Barcelona and has only won the Copa del Rey in his two seasons in Catalonia.

Cristiano Ronaldo's future is dependent on whether or not Juventus qualify for the Champions League
Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is dependent on whether or not Juventus qualify for the Champions League

Given the financial squeeze caused by the coronavirus crisis, Juve could struggle to finance a move for a player who won the World Cup only three years ago. One possibility would be to offer Paulo Dybala as part of a swap deal, not dissimilar to that which saw Miralem Pjanic and Arthur Melo head in opposite directions last summer.

Griezmann may not want to leave Camp Nou after only two years, however, and Juve are weighing up their options.

His current contract runs until 2024, which puts him in a strong negotiating position. He has also been linked with a move back to Atletico, with club president Enrique Cerezo saying earlier this week: “Any team would be crazy about having Griezmann.

“He’s a magnificent player and I hope to get him back, but I don’t think Barcelona want to sell him… he’s had magnificent seasons here and was built at Atletico.”

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