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Atlético in Juan Mata swoop - again

Antoine Griezmann could be used as makeweight - again

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Atlético Madrid have a big week coming up. Villarreal will visit the Vicente Calderón tomorrow, and Atlético will make trips to Eindhoven on Wednesday and the Bernabéu on Saturday. Suffice it to say, these are three huge games for Diego Simeone's men and they deserve the squad's full attention.

Yet, just as we had to debunk the latest rumors of Simeone's departure (he did, too), another set of Antoine Griezmann rumblings appears! To the Independent!

According to The Sun though, it could be United who make the first move for Griezmann should Jose Mourinho take over as manager in the summer. The Portuguese is thought to have been behind Chelsea’s interest during his time at Stamford Bridge, and it’s suggested that he could look to sell Mata for a second time if he replaces Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford - which is looking more likely by the day after United's latest defeat in the Europa League to Danish side FC Midtjylland.


First of all, aggregation at its finest here, as one British tabloid cites another in the never-ending quest for #viewzzz. Second, and more to the point, how many times does Griezmann have to say he's happy at Atlético before folks get the point? Grizi is settled, he's a top player on one of Europe's top clubs and still getting better under Cholo's tutelage. You expect me to believe he'd give all this up to play for a side that can't beat Midtjylland?

So that should take care of one part of this rumor, now how about Mr. Mata? This is not the first time the former Valencia star has been linked with a return to Spain; last fall, it was rumored that Atleti wanted the midfielder less than a year after Manchester United bought him from Chelsea. It makes sense that with José Mourinho likely to take the United job in a few months, he'd want to sell Mata for a second time.

The fit with Atleti, however, is questionable. Mata has spent most of his time this season out on the right rather than through the middle; with Koke to make a permanent move to CM sooner rather than later and with Saúl Ñíguez set to wear red and white for years to come, one or both of Gabi/Tiago would have to make way if Mata was to join. That said, the 27-year-old would be an intriguing buy, but only at the right price - financially and otherwise.