Manchester City join Manchester United in race for Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann

Arunava Ray
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester City have emerged as a credible destination for Atletico Madrid midfielder Antoine Greizmann after Pep Guardiola made him his top target for the summer following reservations over Sergio Aguero's future at the club. The Argentine has not been very happy at City with a lack of game time due to the rise to prominence of Gabriel Jesus and he could be on his way out to make room for the Frenchman.

The Daily Mail reports that Guardiola is looking to bolster his attack following a disappointing season, where he has failed to challenge for either the Premier League or the Champions League, a failure of sorts by his standards. He will face very stiff competition from city rivals Manchester United, who are also in the market for an attacker. Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up an injury in his side's Europa League second leg victory over Anderlecht and he is set to miss the first half of next season.

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The 26-year-old has scored 26 goals in 50 appearances for both club and country in the current season and is regarded as one of the best finishers in the system. He signed a new contract with Atletico last June, which ties him at the club until 2021 and a bid in the range of £75m ($96m) will be required to prise him away.

Atletico manager Diego Simeone has confirmed that there is a release clause, believed to be in the range of £86m ($110m), and it will be difficult to stop him from leaving should a club match that.

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Real Madrid were also interested in the striker but he has ruled out a move to Atletico's local rivals in the wake of the enmity between the sides. Meanwhile, United legend Rio Ferdinand has endorsed Griezmann and implied that the Frenchman will be a massive shot in the arm for Jose Mourinho's team in their quest to return to title winning ways.

"He's a top operator this guy," Ferdinand told BT Sport, as quoted by Manchester Evening News. "A great technician and a very intelligent footballer. Seeing him live, you've just got to see what he does, he just smells the game and comes into positions that are hard to mark for a defender.

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"He's always looking around aware of who's around him, playing in positions where you can't lay a glove on him and when you've got a forward like that who does turn and can be potent it's so difficult to play against.

Antoine Griezmann

"He can see a pass, he understands where his teammates are, he just makes it difficult and always asks a defender the question: 'Do you want to come out and mark me and leave the opposition? If you don't, I'll turn and hurt you. If you do, I'll allow someone else to run in behind me.'"

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