Atletico Madrid close in on £20m Griezmann

The France international, who was the subject on an enquiry by Tottenham before the World Cup, has been lined up by Diego Simeone following the arrival of Mario Mandzukic

By Pilar Suarez

Atletico Madrid are closing in on the €25 million [£19.8m] signing of wantaway Real Sociedad star Antoine Griezmann.

Goal understands that negotiations to bring the 23-year-old to the Vicente Calderon began over a month ago but that the two Liga clubs are close to finalising a deal and confirmation could be imminent.

Tottenham made an enquiry before the 23-year-old impressed at the World Cup but are understood to have never been seriously in the running as the player heads for the Anoeta Stadium exit door.

Although Griezmann’s release clause is €30m [£23.7m], Real Sociedad are aware they are unlikely to get such an offer from any interested parties and are instead hoping to convince Atletico to part with €25m.

Griezmann has been with Real Sociedad since 2005, when he arrived at youth level, and has a contract at the Anoeta until 2016, however he has ambitions to consistently play in the Champions League.

Atletico appealed to the forward as they showed under Diego Simeone last season – when they won La Liga and were runners up in the Champions League – that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in Spain and Europe.

Griezmann would follow striker Mario Mandzukic, signed from Bayern Munich earlier this month, as the latest high-profile summer signing, while Manchester United man Javier Hernandez also remains a possible target.