Inside Football: Man United's Pursuit of Antoine Griezmann and James Rodriguez

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportMay 25, 2017

Inside Football: Man United's Pursuit of Antoine Griezmann and James Rodriguez

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    Jose Mourinho completed his master plan by winning the Europa League with a 2-0 triumph over Ajax, and Manchester United will be playing in the Champions League next season.

    Now for the next stage of his United reign: a major spend in the summer transfer window.

    The top priority remains clear, and Antoine Griezmann is likely to join. The player himself has rated the chance as six out of 10, but in light of Wednesday night's success, there seems little now to stand in the way of him making the switch.

    Griezmann will be joined by five or six other new signings, and in this week's Inside Football, I focus on the pursuit of James Rodriguez.

    There is also news on new signings at Newcastle United, a move for Fulham's Tom Cairney and a look at how Manuel Lanzini's summer could unfold.

Mourinho Lines Up James Talks

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    Jose Mourinho is looking to make an early decision on whether to pursue James Rodriguez.

    His future at Real Madrid is uncertain, and the Colombia international appeared to wave goodbye to supporters when he was substituted in the recent win over Sevilla.

    James has been linked with both United and Chelsea, and I am told that Mourinho is set to have further discussions over the situation in the next week.

    He will speak with agent Jorge Mendes in further detail about a potential deal, but it is understood Mendes is confident the switch from Madrid to Manchester could be possible.

    James is thought to be viewed as a better option to Juan Mata as Mourinho pushes forward with his plans for next season.

    However, there are concerns about the cost of a deal, as United have priorities in other positions.

Newcastle Want Burnley Striker

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    Newcastle are beginning to plot their squad for the Premier League, and striker Andre Gray has emerged as a top target.

    They are willing to pay around £10 million for the Burnley forward, who scored 10 goals from 36 appearances in all competitions last season.

    Burnley are likely to feel he is worth more than that figure, but Newcastle hope their policy of paying cash up front could help their cause.

    The Magpies are looking to make an early mark in the summer window and are making progress on three other players, too.

    Caen attacker Yann Karamoh, forward Nicolas Pepe of Angers and Leganes' Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Pires are also key targets the club are looking to sign.

Cairney to Leave Fulham?

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    Fulham are willing to listen to offers of £20 million for Tom Cairney if he looks for a move to the Premier League this summer.

    The midfielder has been superb over the past season, as his performances put them in contention for promotion.

    But Fulham lost in the Championship play-offs to Reading, and now the club are prepared to cash in on their star man and reinvest the money to rebuild for next season.

    Cairney has no intention of pushing for a transfer, as he loves playing under Slavisa Jokanovic, but he has top-flight ambition.

    In January, the club set his valuation at £20 million, and Fulham will now wait to see which clubs come forward with realistic offers.

Lanzini Is a Man in Demand

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    West Ham United face a battle to hold onto Manuel Lanzini ahead of next season.

    He has caught the eye of all top six clubs in the Premier League and has just been called up to the Argentina squad for upcoming games against Brazil and Singapore.

    Lanzini is viewed as an important figure at West Ham in light of Dimitri Payet's January switch to Marseille.

    But it is likely offers will arrive from at least one of the country's top clubs this summer in a bid to tempt the London club to do business.