Chelsea have reportedly edged ahead in the race to sign Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann in a £40million move this summer.
According to The Express, the French international is now ready to listen to offers, which in turn has sparked a transfer battle to secure his signature ahead of next season.
Whether or not there is any truth in the story remains to be seen, as ultimately a player who has scored 20 goals in 35 La Liga appearances so far this season isn’t going to be easily attainable.
Add the fact that Atleti are still in contention for the league title as well as the Champions League in what is a critical point in their campaign, Griezmann’s future beyond this season is likely to be the last thing on his mind.
Nevertheless, the report claims he has informed friends that he is keen on a move to the Premier League and so will be open to the two clubs discussing a possible deal.
As noted by The Express, Manchester United had also been interested in the former Real Sociedad star, but with Chelsea set to offer him a lucrative contract offer despite the absence of Champions League football next season, it is suggested that he could be leaning towards a move to Stamford Bridge instead.
Chelsea are unlikely to allow Diego Costa to move in the opposite direction as part of the deal which would allow him to secure a return to his former club, and so any negotiations for Griezmann would be on the basis of a one-man move.
The French international has played an integral role for his club this year, and he will be hoping to have a similar influence on his national side at Euro 2016 in France this summer as he continues to establish himself as one of the leading men in European football.