Atletico Madrid

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Griezmann says move to Manchester United “6/10” chance

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Atletico Madrid fans should be on red alert regarding the future of their star attacker.

Antoine Griezmann is openly flirting with Manchester United in the press, essentially giving the Premier League club a 60 percent chance of securing his services.

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The talk gives both Atleti, United, and agents the pressure to find what’s best for their groups and Griezmann… and soon.

Like two weeks soon. From the BBC, and French outlet Quotidien:

“I think I will decide [on my future] in the next two weeks,” he said.

Asked if United would be his new club he replied: “Possible, possible.” Asked to give the chances on a scale of one to 10, Griezmann added “six”.

There’s a reported $112 million release clause in Griezmann’s contract, and few clubs will be able to meet it. The player has said he’s loyal to Diego Simeone, and the manager said he’s staying at Atleti.

Still, is Griezmann to Old Trafford fait accompli?

Lacazette confirms he’ll leave Lyon, hopes to join Atletico Madrid

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Alexandre Lacazette has been “leaving” Lyon for what feels like about five years now, having been constantly linked to some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and other leagues around Europe since bursting onto the scene in 2013.

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This time, though, it’s really actually definitely happening without any level of uncertainty — so says Lacazette himself. Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe this week, the 25-year-old said it’s “the right time” to “discover something else, and to play at a different level.” He went on to reveal he’s already spoken to Atletico Madrid, and Lacazette sounds as if he’s selling Atleti as much on his as they are themselves to him:

“I think that’s the right time. I want to discover something else, and to play at a different level.”

“I know very well that on a European scale I am not yet well recognized. I want to see if I can answer the questions that people are asking, and to make further progress.”

“Atletico are good, it is a club that is in the last rounds of the Champions League for several years.

“It is a great team, in a new stadium, and it is also a club that helps their players progress. And there is Antoine Griezmann. If Atletico is the club I chose, I have not told you, maybe I’ll give you another answer in a few months.”

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While no one will begrudge Lacazette this — who wouldn’t want to play with Griezmann? — the reality of a move to Atleti this summer might just be that he’s Griezmann’s replacement after his countryman makes a mega-bucks move to one of Europe’s true giants.

Prosecutors accuse Falcao of tax crimes in Spain

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MADRID (AP) Spanish prosecutors have asked a judge to charge Colombia forward Radamel Falcao with defrauding Spain’s tax authority of almost $6.1 million from 2012-13.

Prosecutors say in a statement Tuesday they have accused Falcao of gaining illegal fiscal benefits and evading taxes after signing for Spanish club Atletico Madrid in 2011.

The striker stayed for two seasons before joining Monaco in 2013.

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Prosecutors also are accusing Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao of trying to defraud tax authorities of almost $1.4 million in 2011.

Last year, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and his father were sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. They were not sent to jail because sentences of less than two years for first offences are usually suspended in Spain.

Report: Vardy, Sanchez lined up by Atletico Madrid

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When you think about it, these two players are perfect for Atletico Madrid.

Absolutely, positively, perfect.

[ MORE: United’s top transfer target? ]

A report from Miguel Delaney in The Independent states that both Jamie Vardy and Alexis Sanchez are high on the list of striking options for Diego Simeone this summer.

Of course, these moves are dependent on two very important factors: a) Simeone still being in charge next season and b) Atletico get an 18-month transfer ban lifted by FIFA. A decision on the latter is expected in June (Atleti have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport) after Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid were both sanctioned by soccer’s governing body due to breaking rules regarding signing U-18 players.

And, the other big factor around all of this is Antoine Griezmann potentially leaving Atletico this summer with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea constantly linked with a move to sign the Frenchman. Griezmann scored in Atleti’s 2-1 win on Wednesday night in their UCL semifinal second leg but his side crashed out to Real Madrid 4-2 on aggregate and reports suggest he could move on for a fee of around $100 million.

Sticking with Vardy and Sanchez, both would likely snap up a move to La Liga and be part of a team which always seems to overachieve and goes deep in the UEFA Champions League. With Leicester not in the UCL next season, plus Arsenal struggling massively to make the top four, it would be tough to turn down guaranteed Champions League action for both.

It would sort of be a two-for-one deal as Griezmann would leave and both Vardy and Sanchez could come in, and of course it was Arsene Wenger‘s plan to pair Vardy and Sanchez together at Arsenal this season but Vardy rejected the move to remain at Leicester.

With their pacey, hard-working style of play under Simeone, both Vardy and Sanchez would surely be at home at Atletico and the former is said to have impressed Simeone during their UCL quarterfinal win over Leicester and there are surely few people at the club who would stand in his way if a move was arranged.

When it comes to Sanchez, we know that his future is uncertain with just one year remaining on his contract and even though Arsenal would sell him reluctantly this summer, they’d be much happier to sell him to La Liga rather than a PL rival. The Chilean forward became the first Arsenal player since Robin Van Persie to score 20 PL goals with his fine strike at Southampton on Wednesday but his future remains uncertain at the Emirates Stadium.

As Atletico prepare for life at their new 70,000 home at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium next season, they could well have some new strikers to smooth over any big-name sales this summer as goalkeeper Jan Oblak is also rumored to be interesting Manchester United and many others.

Signing both Vardy and Sanchez would be a stretch but not out of the realms of possibility, especially if Griezmann moves on.

Real Madrid reaches third UCL final in four years with win over Atletico

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The Vicente Calderon hosted its last European match on Wednesday, and unfortunately for the hosts the end result didn’t go in favor of Atletico Madrid.

[ MORE: Rafa Benitez will remain with Newcastle in club’s return to PL ]

Atletico picked up a 2-1 victory on the day over Real Madrid, however, Zinedine Zidane’s side still advanced to the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-2 aggregate win.

The victory pushes Real through to its third UCL final in the last four seasons, and the Spanish giants will now meet Serie A leaders Juventus after they defeated Monaco on Tuesday.

Real certainly didn’t replicate its first leg performance during the first half, but Isco’s finish on the stroke of halftime gave Los Blancos a crucial away goal and pushed the score to 4-2.

Antoine Griezmann didn’t hit his penalty kick as well as he would’ve liked but it still ended up in the back of the net after a quarter hour when Keylor Navas couldn’t keep the attempt out.

The pressure mounted for Atleti from the start and Saul Niguez gave Diego Simeone’s side the lead after 12 minutes when he headed home Koke’s corner kick.

Yannick Carrasco nearly gave the hosts a dream start after five minutes when Navas punched the Atletico midfielder’s attempt wide of goal, while Jan Oblak responded with an equally good save for Atleti a minute later after Casemiro’s close-range header.

Navas made a brilliant double-save with under half an hour remaining when Carrasco was sent in on goal from a long Felipe Luis through ball.