IBTimes UK

Chelsea have hinted their intentions to sign France striker Antoine Griezmann from Spanish side Atletico Madrid, according to a Sunday Express report.

Newly-appointed manager Antonio Conte is willing to offer more than the £86m release clause of the 25-year-old. The Blues are willing to spice up the deal by offering Diego Costa in return. Notably, Conte was particular about not letting the Spanish striker make a return to his former club ahead of the 2016/17 season.

However, Fifa's transfer ban on Los Colchoneros might hamper the potential arrangement. Both Real Madrid and their city rivals have been stopped from signing any new players until the summer of 2017 as a punishment for breaching the rules on signing Under18 players.

Manchester United are also making plans to rope in Griezmann to their squad next summer. Manager Jose Mourinho is banking on his French faction to bring the 2016 European Championship star to Old Trafford.

The interest for Griezmann has increased in the transfer market after his splendid performances under Diego Simeone. The left-footer finished as Atletico's top-scorer in the 2014/15, 2015/16 La Liga seasons and played a crucial part in his side's journey to the final of 2015/16 Uefa Champions League.

Griezmann's move to United would mean the Red Devils will have an impressive lineup of French stars including Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Morgan Schneiderlin. Nonetheless, the Premier League 2017 summer transfer window is likely to see another cash splash due to the high-profile managers' quest to add firepower to their squads.

IBTimes UK