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Chelsea still chasing Atlético Madrid forward, according to reports

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The transfer window is still a couple months away, but reports about Chelsea's activities planned for January are starting to gather steam. Over the past week, links to a familiar target have reappeared, with the Blues again (or still) supposedly in the hunt for Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

Jose Mourinho's side were often connected to the forward this past summer, though Mourinho was quick to dismiss those stories. As poor as the Blues' attack has looked this season however, there's little reason to be surprised that Chelsea are getting linked to the French international once again.

Griezmann's latest contract is believed to contain a €80 million release clause -- approximately £57 million at the current exchange rate -- the highest in Atlético Madrid's history, and the Colchoneros don't want to negotiate lower transfer fees. It is also believed that Atlético might be looking to increase Griezmann's release clause even further to €100 million -- approx. £70 million -- as they are keen to keep him (especially given his scintillating form in La Liga and the Champions League) at the club for as long as they can.

The poor start and subsequent benching of Eden Hazard are probably contributing to this rumor's resurfacing, with the Belgian being linked to Real Madrid quite a bit of late. Regardless of whether or not there is any substance behind the Hazard rumors however, Griezmann would still be a great addition to the team. Capable of playing anywhere across the band of three in a 4-2-3-1 and currently plying his trade as a striker in Diego Simeone's 4-4-2, he would be flexible enough not only to fill Hazard's shoes but also provide an alternative or a partner to Diego Costa. As a pure goal-threat coming from the wings, he might actually be what we are hoping Hazard could become one day.

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