Usain Bolt Wants to See Antoine Griezmann Join Paul Pogba at Manchester United

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 14, 2019

France's midfielder Paul Pogba (L) and France's forward Antoine Griezmann warm up ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group H qualification football match between France and Iceland at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on March 25, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Retired Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt believes Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann would be a "proper signing" for Manchester United and wants to see him join Paul Pogba at Old Trafford. 

The pair often impress for France and both played significant roles in the nation's 2018 FIFA World Cup triumph. Red Devils fan Bolt said ahead of an upcoming Soccer Aid for Unicef match that he wants the compatriots to unite in Manchester, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

"Listen, it's all over the place. It would be a proper signing because him and Pogba play very well together, play for the same country.

"You never know. People will say whatever. Until it happens, I won't get my hopes up.

"We just have to wait. We signed Daniel James. I don't know how to look at that. He is quick. We have to watch and see how the rest of the season turns out."

Griezmann was strongly linked with Barcelona last summer but signed a new contract until 2023 at the Wanda Metropolitano. The commitment hasn't lasted, though, and the 28-year-old announced in May that he will be leaving Atleti at the end of this season:

B/R Football @brfootball

One year ago today, @AntoGriezmann announced in a documentary he'd be staying at Atletico Madrid. The story didn't end there... https://t.co/77MRXzMu05

United recently bought winger Daniel James from Swansea City, making him their first summer signing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

They face an uphill battle if they are to win the fight for Griezmann, however. Atletico chief executive officer Miguel Angel Gil Marin recently said he's known since March that the attacker will join Barcelona this summer, per Sport:

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: Atletico Madrid’s CEO confirms Antoine Griezmann will play at Barcelona next season 🔵🔴 https://t.co/FiWgq9sml2

Resolving Pogba's situation will be a top priority for United after a disappointing 2018-19 season. Eight-time Olympic gold medal-winner Bolt advised the Red Devils to "build a team around him" and sign the stars needed to bring out the best in their £89 million signing:

"When you watch him at Juventus and when he plays for France, he is outstanding because he has good strikers and people to play and run off the ball which he needs as a great passer.

"It doesn't matter how somebody cuts his hair, as long as he comes on the field, he shows up.

"If you build the team around him and give him strikers who understand how he plays then he is going to do great."

Signing close friend Griezmann would be one way to help convince the player his future lies in England. The former Real Sociedad star scored 15 times in La Liga last season and has been one of Spain's most productive attackers since he moved to the capital in 2014, per WhoScored.com:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Antoine Griezmann: Only Messi, Suarez and Ronaldo have had a direct hand in more goals than Griezmann (126) since the start of the 2014/15 LaLiga season For more player stats -- https://t.co/1PeFygL3Qw https://t.co/t5rDDKZQ4E

That being said, his tally of 21 goals across all competitions this season was his lowest since he left La Real five years ago.

Speculation in the French press suggests Pogba has a desire to leave Old Trafford and that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants to recruit him, as Get French Football News relayed:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Paul Pogba has zero intention of remaining at Manchester United this summer, according to tomorrow's L'Équipe. Full story follows tomorrow.

Get French Football News @GFFN

Real Madrid representatives have tried to offer Zinedine Zidane the alternative of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, but the French manager is hell-bent on signing Paul Pogba. (L'Éq)

Bolt continued to say he felt sacked manager Jose Mourinho's style of play wasn't suited to the club and that despite a poor end to the 2018-19 campaign, they are playing better football under Solskjaer.

United will struggle to tempt targets like Griezmann without the lure of UEFA Champions League football, however, meaning Pogba may have to leave Manchester for a second time if he's to line up alongside his compatriot at club level.