Atletico Madrid ‘step up Cristiano Ronaldo pursuit’ by transfer listing Antoine Griezmann

Van de Beek determined to prove himself again under new Man Utd boss ten Hag

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Cristiano Ronaldo has gained encouragement from Atletico Madrid as he searches for a way out of Manchester United this summer. Atletico are actively attempting to make room for the Real Madrid legend by placing Antonio Griezmann on the transfer list.

According to The Times, Los Rojiblancos have put Griezmann up for sale as they step up their interest in an audacious move for Ronaldo. They are interested in helping the 37-year-old striker remain in the Champions League but need to free up space on their sizeable wage bill to accommodate his arrival.

Griezmann has entered the second year of a two-year loan spell from Barcelona, although the deal includes a ‘compulsory permanent transfer clause’ worth £25.5million. But his current status hasn’t prevented Atletico from looking to offload him and his squad-high £18,252,000 annual package.

The La Liga giants have started offering Griezmann to potential suitors, including Paris Saint-Germain. However, PSG have shown little interest in recruiting the 31-year-old as the club enters a new era under Christopher Galtier looking to rid themselves of overpaid players not in his plans.

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The report adds that Ronaldo has been ‘receptive’ to a switch to Atletico after Bayern Munich and Chelsea turned down the chance to acquire his services, despite his strong ties with their bitter city rivals. He flourished into one of the greatest players of all time between 2009 and 2018 at the Santiago Bernabeu, but a Wanda Metropolitano arrival appeals.

Ronaldo has been particularly impressed by Atletico head coach Diego Simeone’s enthusiasm to push their past differences aside and work with him in the Spanish capital. He has cited personal reasons as a stand-out factor in his desire to leave Manchester for Madrid once more alongside the obvious – adding to his iconic legacy in the Champions League.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner holds the Champions League records for appearances (183), goals (140) and assists (42) but would be absent from Europe’s elite competition if he remains at United this season. The Red Devils’ sixth-place finish in a miserable 2021/22 season has condemned them to a Europa League return.

With just two weeks left until Erik ten Hag starts his first season as United manager, Ronaldo’s future is far from resolved, and the circus surrounding the situation won’t be helping the Dutchman’s preparation. But he seems intent on exiting Old Trafford, and Jorge Mendes is actively working on finding him a way out. Atletico could be that ticket.

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