Manchester United are reportedly set to face stiff competition from FC Barcelona in the race to sign Saul Niguez this summer.

According to a report by Spanish outlet El Gol Digital, Saul Niguez is becoming a highly sought-after player ahead of the summer transfer window, with Barcelona and Manchester United keen on signing him. The Spanish international could be deemed surplus to requirements at Atletico Madrid post the ongoing season.

Saul Niguez has been a pivotal player for Atletico Madrid for the better part of the past half-a-decade, during which he has also established himself as a regular in the Spanish national side. Till date, the 26-year-old has turned out 327 times for Los Rojiblancos, with 43 goals and 18 assists to show for his efforts.

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However, ahead of the summer transfer window, Saul’s future at the Wanda Metropolitano is mired in uncertainty, with the report now claiming that the Colchoneros could part ways with him. This has evidently piqued the interest of Manchester United and Barcelona.

For the umpteenth summer window, Manchester United find themselves in a precarious position over the future of Paul Pogba, who continues to be linked with a big move away from Old Trafford. If the French international departs, United will need a top-class replacement, making Saul a viable target.

If not, then Saul could potentially replace the ageing Nemanja Matic as well, considering he is as adept at playing as a holding midfielder as he is as a box-to-box midfielder. At Barcelona, on the other hand, there have been heavy links with Georginio Wijnaldum, although the Blaugrana have recently denied having an agreement in place to sign him.

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While the Dutchman would fill a box-to-box role, it is important to note that Sergio Busquets is in the twilight of his career, while Miralem Pjanic is also on the wrong side of 30. Saul is, therefore, an option worth considering for Barcelona, who look to be in need of a midfield reinforcement ahead of the summer.

The report claims that the starting price for Saul would be in the region of €50 million, which would point towards Atletico Madrid’s eagerness to sell him, considering his release clause has been reported to be €150 million. What now remains to be seen is if Manchester United or Barcelona are prepared to shell out such a sum to land Saul in the summer or if they bargain a lower price.

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