Robert Pires wants Antoine Griezmann to snub Manchester United for Arsenal: He'd learn a lot with Arsene Wenger

James Benge
Hot property: Griezmann is among the most highly-coveted players in Europe: Getty Images

Arsenal great Robert Pires believes Antoine Griezmann would fit the mould at the Emirates were the Gunners to make a move for the French international.

Griezmann is a target for a host of Europe’s top clubs, including Arsenal, but widespread reports over recent months have hinted that the Atletico Madrid striker, a close friend of Paul Pogba, is likely to join Manchester United this summer.

However Arsenal could well have a vacancy for a marquee forward in the summer with Alexis Sanchez increasingly likely to leave as relations between the Chilean and the club turn sour.

Whether Sanchez stays or goes Pires, who won two league titles and three FA Cups over six years at Highbury, wants to see Arsenal muscle in on the race for his compatriot Griezmann.

The 43-year-old said in a Youtube video with Natacha Tannous: “This is only speculation about Antoine Griezmann and Manchester United. Why not see Griezmann at Arsenal?

“He has a good profile to play with this team. I think he could learn a lot with [Arsene] Wenger, with [Mesut] Ozil, Alexis [Sanchez], [Santi] Cazorla. Fingers crossed.”

Though Arsenal could finance a deal for Griezmann – they have around £120million in cash reserves – to do so would require the club to obliterate their transfer record. The 25-year-old’s buyout clause at Atletico is reported to be around £90m, double the Gunners record purchase.

Currently Wenger has nearly total control over the club’s transfer policy, a situation unlike the vast majority of clubs in Europe, who increasingly make use of sporting directors to ensure a long-term vision in the market.

Pires has spoken in the past about his interest in taking up a similar position at Arsenal and made clear that he would be willing to open the chequebook to bring in top talent such as Griezmann.

“You need to buy a good player, to spend a lot of money. This is the new football.

“I don’t know what happens in the future for me but this is my plan, to be more involved with Arsenal.”

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