Manchester United and Real Madrid are reportedly two of the clubs interested in Saul Niguez and are prepared to go all out to land the Atletico Madrid star.
Spanish publication Ok Diario are speculating the re-emergence of Saul Niguez as a wanted quantity on the transfer market. Manchester United, Real Madrid and PSG are all interested in the star and could launch an attempt to prise the midfielder away from Atletico Madrid in the upcoming transfer window.
Saul Niguez was actually a part of the Real Madrid youth setup before he decided to join their arch-rivals in 2008 as a 13-year-old. The Spaniard made his debut in the 2011-12 Europa League against Besiktas. But, he truly burst onto the scene in the 2014-15 campaign, becoming a regular face within the first-team setup at Atletico Madrid.
Now one of the key men within Diego Simeone’s setup, Saul Niguez has five senior trophies to his name. While he was not one of the go-to men for Spain under Julen Lopetegui, new manager Luis Enrique seems to prefer Saul’s presence, with the midfielder starting and starring for La Roja during the international break.
Saul was heavily pursued by Barcelona earlier, who seem to have shifted their attention to other stars now. But, the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and PSG have emerged as fresh suitors for the 23-year-old.
At Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho is sweating over the future of Paul Pogba, who was linked to Barcelona the entire summer and is being tipped to make the move to Spain in the upcoming transfer window(s). While Manchester United look prepared to fight to retain the Frenchman, they are already laying down contingency plans in case, with Saul emerging as an option to replace Pogba’s presence within the squad.
Saul would fit Jose Mourinho’s playing style to a large extent, with both Mourinho and Simeone wanting their players to work hard on the pitch, something Pogba has often failed to do at Manchester United thus far.
Real Madrid have been looking at midfielders to reinforce their squad, especially after Mateo Kovacic’s departure and the ageing Luka Modric being linked with a move away from the club. Saul will add to the growing Spanish core at Real Madrid and would fit the profile of players currently being targeted by Florentino Perez.
According to the report, Saul has a €150 million release clause, which means that, despite Atletico Madrid tying him down till 2023, the 23-year-old is prone to approaches from suitors. On the other hand, the lengthy contract gives Los Rojiblancos bargaining power. The club can now choose to ignore negotiations and ask teams to meet the hefty release clause in order to secure Saul’s signature.
Should Manchester United part ways with Paul Pogba, meeting Saul’s release clause will not be much of a problem, with the sale of the Frenchman also likely to produce a windfall. Real Madrid and PSG will provide able competition as it looks like Saul will be in demand in the upcoming transfer window(s).