In a quick turn of events, Manchester United seem to have emerged as the front runners for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez. According to a report from the Daily Mail, Manchester United have entered the fray and are closely monitoring the situation and if Atletico’s current negotiations with Barcelona fall apart, then the Red Devils might swoop in.
United are long time admirers of the Spanish midfielder, they have been following him since his loan days at Rayo Vallecano. At the time, Saul Niguez was just an 18-year-old prospect knocking on Atletico’s first team door. He has been linked with a move to Old Trafford numerous times in the past. Now that he is finally willing to depart, the Red Devils have apparently rekindled their interest in the Spaniard.
United have been busy in the transfer market with other probable incomings, Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier. Nevertheless, a central defensive midfielder has been on top of the club’s priority list. West Ham’s Declan Rice and Eduardo Camavinga of Rennes are the most coveted targets.
However, now that Saul is also available, he might jump the queue and become the top target. Although he is not a typical defensive midfielder, his experience and versatility allow him to play at various positions of the midfield, especially as a DM. He is what we call a perfect box-to-box midfielder.
Liverpool were heavily linked with a summer move for Saul, but things have changed since the start of the transfer window. The Merseysiders were favourites to land the Spaniard, but things changed in the last couple of weeks when news broke that Atletico Madrid have entered negotiations with Barcelona for a possible swap deal with Antoine Griezmann.
The Reds face a reported tug-of-war with Manchester United and Barcelona in securing the Spaniard's services #LFC https://t.co/rck86RKfwG
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) July 20, 2021
Liverpool have also backed down a bit because of the Spanish club’s asking price. The Rojiblancos are demanding more than €50 million whereas Liverpool were looking to buy the player at around €40 million. This has brought Manchester United to the forefront as they certainly possess the financials to match Atletico’s demands.
However, both Premier League teams are waiting to see what happens with Barcelona, they are waiting to get more clarity on the situation before they make a move. The player’s agent, however, has said that Saul has kept all options open. While speaking to Diario AS on the matter, he responded:
“Saul will do with his future what is best for Saul.”
“Nothing has been decided, Saul has as many options to stay as to leave.”
Man United ????⚪⚫
Who will Saul Niguez be linked with next? ???? pic.twitter.com/IrXSy0eyAw
— Goal (@goal) July 16, 2021
On the other hand, reports from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim that negotiations between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have broken down, but there is no confirmation yet. There are a lot of complications regarding Saul as multiple clubs are vying for the player. This saga doesn’t have an imminent end in sight and might go on till the end of the transfer window.
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For now, there is not much clarity on the ongoing negotiations. It also depends on the player as to which club he prefers to join. Manchester United are playing the waiting game and are currently concentrating on the transfers of Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier.
All in all, this is not the first time you’ve heard this story and this certainly will not be the last. Whatever speculations arise, a player like Saul Niguez will be a valuable addition to any squad and if Manchester United push hard enough, there is a possibility of landing the Spanish midfielder.
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