Manchester United are reportedly confident of sealing a club record £135 million deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez in the summer.

According to an exclusive report from the Daily Star, Manchester United are preparing for life without star midfielder Paul Pogba, as they are increasingly confident of signing Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez in the summer transfer window.

Pogba’s future at Manchester United has been a subject of intense transfer speculation since he made his desire of leaving the club last summer public. While manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been insisting repeatedly that the Frenchman will not be sold, the picture behind the scenes is completely different.

Manchester United are ready to offload Pogba this summer, with the Daily Star claiming that long-term admirers Real Madrid are prepared to match the Red Devils’ asking price of £100 million for the World Cup winner.

The 20-time English champions have already put a succession plan in place for when Pogba departs, with Saul Niguez emerging as their preferred target. The 25-year-old Atletico Madrid star has grown into one of the most sought-after midfielders across Europe with United’s local rivals Manchester City also keen on the Spaniard.

However, Manchester United are increasingly confident of closing the deal for Saul, as per the report. The Red Devils are prepared to match the midfielder’s £135 million release clause in order to bring him to Old Trafford, with chief executive Ed Woodward willing to reinvest the transfer fee generated from Pogba’s sale.

Set to celebrate a move to Manchester United? (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Set to celebrate a move to Manchester United? (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The report states that Manchester United have scouted Saul on multiple occasions this season and manager Solskjaer has received glowing reports from his staff each time. The Norwegian is of the belief that a midfield partnership of Saul and January recruit Bruno Fernandes would help Manchester United reclaim their lost glory.

Saul’s contract with Atletico runs till the summer of 2026. The Rojiblancos are intent on tying him down to a new deal and increase his release clause, but talks haven’t progressed according to plans for the Spanish capital outfit.

Manchester United have also been linked with Real Madrid star Federico Valverde. But, with Los Blancos demanding the club meet the Uruguayan’s €500 million release clause, Saul would represent a more prudent option for the Red Devils.

Saul has had another impressive campaign so far. In 2019-20, the 25-year-old has scored four goals in 37 matches across all competitions. Should Manchester United trigger his £135 million release clause, the Spanish international will become the club’s record signing, eclipsing the £89 million they paid for Pogba in 2016.

It remains to be seen if Manchester United do actually go through with the huge outlay to sign Saul before the next season.

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