Reported Chelsea target Antoine Griezmann is said to be ready to listen to offers to move away from Atletico Madrid in the summer.
The France international has been in tremendous form so far this term, helping Diego Simeone’s side push for a spot at the summit of La Liga. According to Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, the former Real Sociedad man could be on the move despite being content at the Vicente Calderon.
“Nothing has changed,” said Balague in a response to a question about Griezmann’s situation. “He wants to have a really good season and see what happens in the summer. He is open to offers. Atletico don't want him to go but they understand if somebody comes with the right amount of money he may go, so we will have to keep an eye on it.”
According to Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror, the Blues are keen on landing the forward, as well as Manchester City and Manchester United.
Here is a look at why many feel as though Griezmann is close to becoming one of the standout players in world football:
As we can see here, courtesy of OptaJose, the Atletico man is enjoying a stunning campaign and has been so important to his team:
10 - If Griezmann had not scored any goal in La Liga this season, Atletico would have ten points less. Essential.2016-1-26 12:11:06
Griezmann himself admitted he has little intentions of leaving Atletico recently, per Telefoot (h/t Vaishali Bhardwaj of the London Evening Standard): “This is a big club, and I want to achieve great things here. I am ambitious and my goal is to win trophies here.”
Obviously, if Chelsea could land him, then Griezmann would be a huge coup. The 24-year-old not only contributes in his goalscoring, but his searing runs in behind, exceptional dribbling and an unrelenting work rate are influential.
He’s the perfect forward for Atletico Madrid, and he has all of the attributes to thrive in English football, too. However, the Madrid side are unlikely to cash in any time soon given they have a transfer ban to serve, and Griezmann, as is evident by his own aforementioned quotes, seems keen on sampling success with this progressing outfit.
Ramires Close to £25 Million Move
According to Lewis, Chelsea are close to moving on Brazilian midfielder Ramires, with Chinese side Jiangsu Suning said to be willing to splash a whopping £25 million to sign him.
As noted in the piece, Ramires only signed a four-year deal with the Blues back in October 2015, and under Jose Mourinho, he was a player who was often drafted in for big games because of his defensive skills and energy. However, as we can see here, courtesy of Sky Sports News HQ, since interim manager Guus Hiddink was appointed, the former Benfica man has seen little time on the pitch:
Sky Sports News HQ @SkySportsNewsHQ
Ramires has struggled for playing time since Guus Hiddink returned to Stamford Bridge #SSNHQ https://t.co/5r7GUlbo6W2016-1-25 22:29:38
There will be some Chelsea fans sad to see Ramires leave. After all, his stunning lob against Barcelona in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League in 2012 is one of the most iconic moments in the club’s recent history. Here’s a reminder of it:
But it’s a remarkable deal for the Blues if this goes through. Although Ramires is a versatile and useful player, recouping £25 million for his services is superb business, especially when you consider the midfielder will be turning 29 in March.
For the player, it’s a peculiar move. The prospect of a new challenge and a handsome salary will no doubt be alluring for Ramires, although there’s no doubt he could still make an impression at a strong side in one of Europe’s top-five leagues. However, it’d be a big surprise if any team matched the money being offered to the Blues by Jiangsu Suning.