Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid have reportedly stepped up their pursuit for five-time Balon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, by putting French attacker Antoine Griezmann up for sale.
Diego Simeone’s side want to sign the Manchester United striker this summer but need to free up their wage bill, in order to fund a move.
Griezmann is set to enter the second year of his two-year loan spell at Atletico, who are obliged to spend £34 million on the Frenchman next summer.
Atletico have offered Griezmann to several clubs including Paris Saint-Germain report The Times, but the French Ligue 1 giants seem uninterested.
The Spanish outfit are keen to get rid of his reported £300k-a-week salary and use the money saved on Ronaldo’s contract instead.
The Portuguese superstar earns an eye-watering £360k-a-week at Old Trafford but is believed to be willing to take a 30 per cent pay cut to push through a move.
Ronaldo is determined to play Champions League football next season and after Chelsea ended their interest in him he has turned to Atletico.
He is open to what would be a controversial switch with Atletico offering the opportunity to win silverware and Champions League football, while his partner Georgina Rodriguez is also keen on moving back to Spain.
The 37-year-old is also said to be impressed with Simeone’s desire to work with him – that could be the deciding factor to lure Ronaldo to the Wanda Metropolitano.
But his signing is dependent on Griezmann’s future with Atletico struggling to find a bidder.
Tottenham were linked in the winter but have now signed Richarlison, while Juventus have also been keen in the past.
The Old Lady were reportedly interested in swapping Alvaro Morata with Griezmann but such a deal would prohibit Atletico from making a move for Ronaldo.
Atletico are taking a risk by signing Ronaldo – after all he is a legend at rivals Real Madrid.
Some fans are passionate in their opposition to the striker joining the club with claims he has disrespected Atletico and the fanbase in the past.