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Sunday 25 June 2017

United interest in Griezmann has cooled

United's interest in Antoine Griezmann has cooled as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury means the priority is now on signing an out-and-out striker
United's interest in Antoine Griezmann has cooled as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury means the priority is now on signing an out-and-out striker

Manchester United's interest in Antoine Griezmann has cooled as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury means the priority is now on signing an out-and-out striker.

Fresh from winning the Europa League and securing Champions League qualification, attention has turned to summer reinforcements as Jose Mourinho's men look to challenge for the Premier League.

United intend to make three or four high-quality additions this summer, but interest in Atletico Madrid's Griezmann has cooled. The France international has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, but the long-term injury sustained by top scorer Ibrahimovic means an out-and-out striker rather than a number 10 is their priority.

Ibrahimovic may not play again this year after sustaining serious knee ligament damage in the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht in April.

The 35-year-old's contract at Old Trafford runs out this summer and his agent Mino Raiola admitted on Wednesday that he did not know where the Swede will be playing next season. Another of Raiola's clients is Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.

United have been strongly linked with the player, who has two years left on his existing deal at Goodison Park and has refused to sign a new contract.

"Lukaku had a promise that if certain clubs came this summer that he could leave this summer," Raiola said. "We are not in concrete talks with anybody at this moment, but hearing the market I think some clubs will contact Everton.

"If the price is right for Everton and the project is right for Lukaku then I think he will want to make another step, but we are not there yet." Torino's Andrea Belotti and Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid are other strikers to have been linked with a summer move to Old Trafford, while speculation over fans' favourite Cristiano Ronaldo refuses to go away.

Also reported to be on United's radar are Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic, Burnley defender Michael Keane and Chelsea's Nemanja Matic.

Wayne Rooney could be a high-profile outgoing, as the club captain faces the prospect of his United and England careers concluding simultaneously. The 31-year-old has been left out of Gareth Southgate's last two international squads and his prospects of regaining a central role in Mourinho's first-team plans look remote. He has already said a decision on his future is "more or less" made and lucrative offers from overseas are on the table.

United have no intention of letting Real Madrid target David De Gea depart, though.

Real are interested in signing a player they come close to buying in 2015. A deal worth £29million plus Keylor Navas was agreed but the relevant paperwork was not completed before the deadline, with the goalkeeper instead signing a new four-year deal with an option to extend it by a season.

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