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Will United turn to Lukaku with Griezmann deal off?

Everton to face a tougher time holding on to Rom

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Manchester United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

British newspaper The Telegraph are claiming today that Manchester United have called off their pursuit of France striker Antoine Griezmann, who currently plies his trade at Atletico Madrid in the La Liga in Spain.

They also went on to say that the decision to abandon the chase for the forward had nothing to do with the Madrid club losing their appeal to have a transfer ban lifted that prevents them from signing players this summer.

Logically, failure to overturn the ban would mean the Rojiblancos cannot now sign either Diego Costa or Sandro Ramirez, which would have a domino effect in the summer transfer window.

With Costa having said he wouldn’t go to China and would only back to Atletico, does this mean Chelsea are now off the market for Lukaku? Meanwhile, United are now being mentioned as candidates for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Torino’s Andrea Belotti.

Sandro has been linked with Everton, and would serve as a replacement for Lukaku should he go to either Chelsea or the Red Devils.

United have a strong link with Lukaku through his agent Mino Raiola, as well as through the world’s most expensive player Paul Pogba, who is a friend of the Belgian striker and also represented by Raiola.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Late last night, the Times’ reputable journalist Paul Joyce reported that Everton had made a “gentleman’s agreement” last summer with the player and his agent that he could leave during the upcoming transfer window if “certain clubs” met the club’s requirements for the player.

Lukaku scored 26 goals in the Premier League this season, and the Blues have put a £100m price tag on the player. Current United manager Jose Mourinho had previously sold the Belgian to Everton for £28m while at Chelsea in 2014, and the relationship between the two has been said to be rocky.

It’s looking more and more like it’ll take one of the bigger pawns like Lukaku, Griezmann or even Morata to move first before the whole transfer market carousel will start rolling.