Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United lining up €100 million bid for French ace Griezmann

By Miguel Delaney

Manchester United are increasingly confident of signing French star Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in the summer for what could be another world-record fee, although Luke Shaw is almost certain to be on his way out of Old Trafford at the same time, with Jose Mourinho frustrated at the left-back's lack of development.

Intermediaries representing Griezmann and United have been talking for several months, and the Euro 2016 top scorer is said to be extremely keen on the move, with the chance to link up with international team-mate Paul Pogba only making it more enticing.

The principles of a prospective deal have already been verbally agreed, including weekly wage and shirt number.

United would likely have to match €100m Griezmann's buy-out clause. Complicating the transfer is that Atletico are currently serving a transfer ban and are still waiting on the Court of Arbitration for Sport to decide on whether they will be able to buy and sell players this summer.

If they are, Atletico will revive their interest in Chelsea's Diego Costa as a replacement.

United will, meanwhile, be open to offers for Luke Shaw. The 21-year-old has only made 13 appearances for the club this season, with none in the league since October 29 and none in any competition since the November 30 League Cup win over West Ham United.

Mourinho is said to have become fed up with Shaw's lack of progress in what the manager is trying to do with the team, and that has even led to some senior first-team players speaking to the young defender privately. The expectation is that he will be sold in the summer with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur - depending on Danny Rose's future - earmarked as potential buyers.

United are unlikely to make any signings in this window, with Mourinho impressed with how the majority of players have been performing, although Memphis Depay could well leave before January 31, with French club Lyon feeling they they have made a breakthrough in their pursuit of the player.

• In last night's FA Cup third round replays, Sam Vokes and Andre Gray were on target as Burnley overcame Sunderland in the only all-Premier League tie.

Bolton Wanderers' hopes of forcing an upset against Crystal Palace were undone when Christian Benteke's double cancelled out the advantage garnered by James Henry's opener, while Bristol City progressed at Fleetwood Town's expense courtesy of Jamie Paterson's first-half strike.

An injury-time goal from Nathan Arnold saw Lincoln City dump much-fancied Ipswich Town out and Sutton United triumphed at AFC Wimbledon, while Bright Osayi-Samuel netted in the last minute of extra-time to send Blackpool through against Barnsley.

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