LONDON - Manchester United will have to make Antoine Griezmann the Premier League’s best-paid player if they are serious about signing him this summer.
The France striker is Jose Mourinho’s top transfer target and will put his talents on display once again when his formidable Atletico Madrid side face city rivals Real in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tonight.
Sportsmail has learned that Griezmann is attracted by United’s interest but also that his terms would cost the English club just shy of £300 000 a week.
Including transfer fees, the price tag for Griezmann would be almost £155m in total over the course of the five-year deal which is preferred by the 26-year-old.
With Griezmann being asked to leave the perennial Champions League contenders for a club not yet guaranteed to even be in the competition next season, he has set the financial bar high by way of potential compensation.
The 350 000 Euros a week that he would want translates to £295 000 at current exchange rates — a sum that would edge him ahead of the Premier League’s top earners, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney.
That outlay works out at a commitment of about £77m over five years and would be piled on top of a transfer fee that would have to exceed the £76m (90m Euros) currently acting as a buy-out clause in Griezmann’s contract in Spain.
He is earning half this weekly amount in Spain but knows that his stock may never be higher. United will not balk at the figures, having committed a similar amount to last summer’s signing of Pogba from Juventus.
United also expect Rooney to leave this summer - in all likelihood to China - and that will immediately free them of a £290,000-a-week commitment to a contract that is not due to expire until the summer of 2018.