Why Man United's Antoine Griezmann decision will transform the transfer market
Manchester United have decided to 'cool' their interest in striker Antoine Griezmann after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a transfer ban for Atletico Madrid, according to multiple sources.
Atletico were hopeful of succeeding in having their transfer embargo lifted this summer, as they appealed against a sanction handed down by FIFA for breaking rules on signing junior players.
Yet they failed in their bid to have the ban overturned and will now be blocked by using any player signed in this summer's transfer window until next January.
While this will not stop Griezmann leaving Atletico Madrid this summer, the ruling puts the Frenchman in a difficult position as he considers walking away from the club he still has strong bind with.
Atletico's plans to sign both Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette and Chelsea's Diego Costa will now be abandoned, with club officials confident Griezmann will not walk out on them at a time when they need him more than ever.
The word emerging from Old Trafford shortly after the CAS announcement suggested United will not consider alternative options in their transfer search, as they may have been aware that Griezmann will not leave Atletico if their transfer ban was upheld.
While United could still trigger the €100m release clause in his contract, Griezmann may feel compelled to stay with Atletico for one more year and consider his transfer options next summer.
The trickle down effect of United's abandoned bid for Griezmann will be felt across the transfer market, with Lacazette now potentially a target for Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal once again.
Meanwhile, Costa has stated that he would only consider leaving Chelsea this summer if the door was open for him to return to his former club Atletico Madrid.
Costa staying at Chelsea would have a big effect on the club's efforts to bring Everton striker Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, which may spark fresh rumours of United making a move to the Belgian striker.
In addition, United remain open to the prospect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to their fold later this year, as he recovers from knee ligament damage and eyes up a new deal with the Old Trafford club.
Now it will take some time for the dust to settle on the first big development of the summer transfer market, with Griezmann's future pivotal to so many big names across Europe.
It is not inconceivable that Griezmann could still join Manchester United, but expect the name of Real Madrid forward Alvrano Morata and Torino’s Andrea Belotti linked with United once again in the coming days and weeks.