Antoine Griezmann

The key to Atletico Madrid’s chances of signing Cristiano Ronaldo are directly linked to the future of Antoine Griezmann according to Marca. The club have activated the second season of the Frenchman’s loan from Barcelona but doubts remain about him.

Those doubts don’t relate to the player himself or to Diego Simeone, who’s the Frenchman’s biggest supporter at the club. But the club are understood to be investigating the small print of their complicated loan agreement with Barcelona to see if an exit clause could be activated. Only if that was achieved, it’s understood, would the remote possibility of signing Cristiano become a genuine option. Until then it’s simply not feasible.

And even if that exit clause was to be executed, it’s not the only thing that Atletico would need to do to organise themselves to move for the 37-year-old Portuguese, a club legend at their greatest rivals Real Madrid. At least one other player would need to leave – and it’s understood the chosen sacrificial lamb is Alvaro Morata, who Juventus are still coveting. One to keep an eye on.

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