Chelsea have reportedly submitted an official loan-to-buy offer for Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez, who is also wanted by Manchester United.

According to a report from Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have made an official bid to secure the signing of Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez, who is also a target for Manchester United.

The 26-year-old has spent his entire professional career a Atletico Madrid, barring a season-long loan stint in the early stages of his career. While he has always been a regular in the starting XI under Diego Simeone, Saul found his playing time reduced in the season gone by. And with the Rojiblancos signing Rodrigo De Paul this summer, his prospects have diminished further.

A move away from the Wanda Metropolitano has been mooted all summer, with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United touted as possible destinations, while Barcelona were also linked with a move for the Spanish international briefly.

And, with the transfer window about to close in a week, Chelsea have reportedly made their first move to sign Saul. According to Romano, the Blues had been in talks over a move for the 26-year-old for a few days now and have now submitted an offer to secure his signing. As per the terms of the bid, the Blues will be taking him on loan initially with an option to buy.

Saul could be on his way out of Atletico Madrid (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Saul could be on his way out of Atletico Madrid (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Chelsea have a solid midfield unit comprising of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. However, there is a distinct lack of quality cover beyond the trio. With Kante having had injury problems of late, it only makes sense for Thomas Tuchel to add another proven midfielder to the ranks as they look to compete on all four fronts.

However, Chelsea’s approach for Saul is being threatened by arch-rivals Manchester United, who, as per Romano, have made an enquiry for the Spanish international in the last 24 hours. The Red Devils’ manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has no shortage of options when it comes to the midfield department.

Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek are all at the manager’s disposal. However, the Norwegian has, of late, been using Pogba in an advanced role whereas van de Beek seems to be out of favour yet again. With Matic not getting any younger and Fred not a stranger to bouts of inconsistencies, another midfielder wouldn’t go amiss.

Saul, who can essay multiple roles in the middle of the park, and has years of top-level experience, would thus be an option worth looking at. However, with Chelsea making an official bid already, things could get tricky for the 20-time English champions, although, they are keeping their options open with Eduardo Camavinga also on the radar.

As things stand, it looks set that Saul will be on the move from Atletico before the transfer window closes. What now remains to be seen is whether Chelsea are able to convince the La Liga champions to send him out on loan with the option to buy, or if Manchester United trump the Blues with a better offer.

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