Mourinho should be doing all he can to persuade one of these strikers to be his number 9 next season

Manchester United will have no doubt starting looking into replacements for their number nine spot. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken the Premier League by storm but the Swede is yet to sign a contract extension and at 35 he is not a long-term option. Jose Mourinho will be assessing options to replace Ibrahimovic whether that is this summer or in transfer windows to come, so he should be doing all he can to persuade any of these elite goal-machines to sign for United…

Antoine Griezmann

Easily one of the most sought after strikers in Europe, Antoine Griezmann would walk into practically any elite side. Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has admitted there is uncertainty in the prolific Frenchman’s future at the club and wouldn’t stand in his way if he decided he wanted to move on. The 26-year-old striker has constantly been linked with United and he would be joining up with fellow internationals Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial if he were to make the switch to Manchester. He has netted 22 goals this season and is only going to get better.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gabon speed-demon has been causing havoc in the Bundesliga this season. He has averaged a goal a game and suits a number of systems. While hold-up play isn’t his game he is capable in the air but his main threat is pace on the counter. When Aubameyang gets going there is no stopping him and he is consistently providing in both domestic and European competitions.

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Alexandre Lacazette

Another Frenchman Mourinho should be looking at is Alexandre Lacazette. The Lyon striker possesses both pace and power in his approach as well as the ability to sniff out a goalscoring chance. He has netted 29 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season and is another forward being tipped for a big move in Europe. A transfer to any of the top six Premier League sides would be tempting for Lacazette considering much of an influence the competition has on players.

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Should United make any of these three their number nine for next season? Does Mourinho need to sign more than one forward in the summer?

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Is this striker the perfect answer to Chelsea’s Costa crisis?

Much has been made in a short period of time over the reports that Diego Costa had a bust up with fitness staff and manager Antonio Conte after an apparent £30 million-a-year offer came in from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian. It would be a huge blow for the Premier League leaders if they were to lose their top goalscorer, but could Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann be the answer for Chelsea? Lewis Addley explores…

Given how the transfer news surrounding Diego Costa’s future is intensifying with each passing day, it would not be a surprise to see the Spaniard depart from the capital and become the third player in the last few months to leave Chelsea for the Chinese Super League.

The purchasing power of the CSL has been well documented and the money being spent by clubs in the league is providing some of the most astonishing transfer fees and wages the game has ever seen.

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So if Chelsea were to lose Costa, they may well revisit one of their favourite shopping destinations in the form of Atletico Madrid. Chelsea and Atletico have a strong link with the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis, Tiago Mendes, Fernando Torres and Costa himself having all played for both clubs.

So why would Griezmann consider a move?

It’s no secret that Antoine Griezmann is a man in high demand. He could potentially be swayed with the appeal of playing in the Premier League and the wages Chelsea could offer him for his services. The Frenchman is one of the deadliest strikers in Europe and he would certainly fit the bill to fill a potential void if Costa departs.

The 25-year-old forward netted an impressive 32 goals in 54 games in all competitions last season and he could be tempted away from the Spanish capital considering Atleti are underperforming. He has only netted seven goals this season and a fresh start may suit Griezmann, while also providing Chelsea with a world-class replacement for Costa.

Griezmann’s national teammate N’Golo Kante could also play a part in a potential move. Kante was one of the most sought after midfielders after Euro 2016 and he chose Chelsea ahead of many of Europe’s elite clubs. While wages always seem to play a big part in any high-profile transfer, an appeal for many to join Chelsea is the lifestyle and factor of living in London.

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Chelsea are being tipped to win the Premier League this season and are sitting in a comfortable position at the top of the table, however if Costa is to depart the balance of the side could well be rocked. It could play into Griezmann’s hands to come in as a replacement and, providing he hit the ground running, he could continue where Costa left off and fire the Blues to the title.

Why could a January move for Griezmann be unlikely?

January is a difficult time of the year for a player to make a high-profile move. It is the halfway point in the season and it can be tough to settle in, especially without a preseason, getting to know teammates properly and coming into a seemingly settled dressing room.

Chelsea have previous with January transfers not having the desired effect. Though Fernando Torres was a success at the club in terms of the trophy haul, his goalscoring form never hit the dizzy heights from earlier in his career. The burden of carrying a hefty price-tag of £50 million was something Torres struggled to shake off and given the current state of the market, Griezmann would almost certainly be upwards of that figure.

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Griezmann has said as recently as this month that he is happy at Atleti. He has Champions League football to look forward to upon it’s return and there is still plenty for him to prove in Madrid.

Costa is yet to leave Chelsea. No official comment has been made from Costa or his agent, so he may well stay at the club at least until the end of the season, when a move for Chelsea to find a replacement would be more favourable.

Do you think Costa will leave Chelsea and is Griezmann the sort of striker who could replace him?

Chelsea and Bayern to battle for Atletico Madrid superstar – report

Chelsea have reportedly joined Bayern Munich in the race for Antoine Griezmann but Atletico Madrid don’t intend to sell their prized asset, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

The Frenchman joined Atletico last summer from Real Sociedad for £24 million, signing a huge six year contract, and has been a revelation after netting 22 times in 37 league games.

Bayern were reported to have sent scouts to watch Griezmann in the Champions League last 16 game at Bayer Leverkusen, and have been impressed with what they see. The German giants are reportedly willing to match his huge €65 million release clause as they will eventually look to replace wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Chelsea also have the financial firepower to complete a deal but would need to sell a couple of players first to keep within the Financial Fair Play regulations.

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Atletico coach Diego Simone sees Griezmann as part of a new wave of talent they can’t afford to lose, including teammates Koke, Diego Godin and goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Chelsea have also been linked with Koke and Godin.

Griezmann is said to be happy in the Spanish capital after spending the last decade in Spain, though he could double his salary with a move to the Premier League or the Bundesliga.

If Chelsea or Bayern meet the release clause, Atletico are powerless to stop a deal from being completed. With the European Championships in France next season, Griezmann is likely to be part of his country’s attack so delivering strong performances on a weekly basis as he has this year is a must for the player.

Jose Mourinho is thought to be optimistic a deal can be struck, having negotiated deals with Atletico last summer over the signings of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, who both joined Chelsea.

Could Antoine Griezmann leave Atletico Madrid this summer? Would a move to Chelsea make sense?

Chelsea ‘on the verge’ of signing £43m-rated superstar

Chelsea have stepped up their efforts to secure the signing of Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann after recruiting Jorge Mendes to ensure smooth negotiations.

Spanish media outlet, El Confidencial, have reported Mendes has been recruited to complete the deal which is apparently very close.

Mendes boasts the likes of Jose Mourinho and Diego Costa as his clients and is one of the best in the business at pushing deals through.

The deal is close to being wrapped up but a fee has yet to be agreed and Madrid are holding out for around £43 million for their prized asset.

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The 24-year-old Frenchman has netted an impressive 22 goals in 35 La Liga appearances this season and would provide cover for the injury prone Diego Costa and strengthen the Blues’ attacking options with his versatility.

Griezmann would be joining a fierce Chelsea attacking line which would arguably become the strongest in the Premier League for next season if they can secure the Frenchman’s services.

Will Antoine Griezmann sign for Chelsea this summer? Do they need him?