£85m Uefa player of year nominee pursued by Arsenal - report
By Dominic Toner
Antoine Griezmann rejected a sensational move to Arsenal in recent week, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the 25-year-old striker turned down a move to the Emirates this summer in order to stay with Atletico Madrid.
The report details Arsene Wenger pursued Griezmann but the Euro 2016 sensation did not want to leave Spain as his family were settled in the Spanish capital and he was enjoying his football.
The Frenchman was shortlisted alongside Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for Uefa’s Player of the Year award, with Ronaldo winning the prestigious prize.
Arsenal were preparing to break the club’s £38.2million Mesut Ozil transfer fee record for the Euro 2016 star, but Atletico do not want to sell their star man for anything less than his £85million buy-out clause.
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“Arsene and Griezmann held talks during the Euros about his situation,” the Sun quote an Arsenal source as saying.
“The player told him outright that he was happy in Spain, and his family were enjoying life there.
“There is still interest. Why wouldn’t there be in one of the best players in the world? But nothing will happen this summer at least.”
Griezmann signed a new deal with the La Liga club this summer taking him up to 2021 after his brilliant form last season in which he scored 32 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions.
He helped Atletico reach the Champions League final and he also helped his country to reach this summer’s European Championships final with an impressive six goals in seven appearances.
Arsenal have been unsuccessful in their pursuit of a new forward this summer after also failing to land Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette, however look set to finally sign a new attacker as the transfer window draws to a close.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that Arsenal are working on a deal to sign Lucas Perez and revealed he is “99 per cent” confident that the club would sign some new players before next Wednesday’s transfer shut-off.
It emerged on Thursday night that the Gunners have beaten Everton to the signing of the Deportivo La Coruna striker after triggering the £17.1million release clause in the 27-year-old’s contract.
The forward was in superb form last season and his 17 La Liga goals helped Deportivo escape the drop from Spain’s top flight.
In all competitions he scored 19 goals and supplied 11 assists from just 39 matches for the Spanish club.
Wenger has opted to use Alexis Sanchez as a forward at the start of the season but many fans believes Arsenal need a new striker to compete with frontman Olivier Giroud in attack.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Guillem Balague has delivered his verdict on the club’s incoming signing.