LONDON - Manchester United have cooled their interest in Antoine Griezmann as Jose Mourinho steps up his efforts to buy a new target man this summer.
United have prioritised signing a No 9 ahead of pursuing an £86 million deal for Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann, as Sportsmail revealed on Thursday.
Mourinho’s top target is Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
News United had called off the move coincided with a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold Atletico’s transfer ban for breaching regulations over the signing of minors.
The ban means Atletico could not have registered a replacement for Griezmann until January and the player tweeted on Thursday night to say: ‘Now more than ever #Atleti.’
Griezmann is expected to sign a new contract with a buyout clause in excess of £100m.
United revised their plans once it became apparent that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s knee injury would end his spell at Old Trafford.
Instead of looking to Griezmann as a second striker, Mourinho has switched his attentions to finding a direct replacement for Ibrahimovic.
The Swedish star scored 28 goals in his first season in English football but will be 36 when he is expected to return to action early next year.
Lukaku is the top target if United are prepared to pay £100m. The Belgian is represented by Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola, who insists Lukaku has an agreement with Everton that he can leave if ‘certain clubs’ want to sign him.
Alvaro Morata, who was given his Real Madrid debut by Mourinho, is another candidate. Real value him at £65m but are considering a £48m offer from AC Milan as they look to make room for £113m Kylian Mbappe.
United may also target Mbappe and Andrea Belotti, who has an £87m release clause in his contract at Torino.