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Atletico Madrid would be willing to sell Saul Niguez to Manchester United for £68million this summer, according to reports. United are scouring the transfer market searching for ways to improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and could be tempted by a move for Saul.
The Spanish midfielder has been a regular for Atletico ever since making his debut in 2012 but is reportedly considering a move on this summer.
Saul made 39 appearances for Atleti last season, helping them win their first La Liga title for seven years.
He has been a key player for Diego Simeone for some time, performing many roles right across the Argentine’s solid midfield.
The 26-year-old missed out on selection for Spain’s 24-man squad for the European Championship, with manager Luis Enrique spoilt for choice in the position.
That snub has left Saul to consider his club future over the off-season, with the transfer window now open for business.
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Saul is available for a transfer this summer (Image: GETTY)
According to Mundo Deportivo, Saul is not pushing for a move and will not leave unless he is offered a ‘very interesting project’.
However, Atleti know they need to sell players in order to bring in new recruits to cement their place at the top of La Liga and have made Saul available for transfer.
Saul is under contract until 2026 and has a whopping £128m (€150m) release clause, but Atletico ‘would be willing’ to negotiate a deal at around £68m (€80m).
In a market depressed by the coronavirus pandemic that fee still rules out most of Europe’s biggest clubs.
But the report names United and Juventus as the clubs who ‘have more options’ to get a deal done.
A possible deal is further complicated by Saul’s wants and needs: he reportedly would only entertain an offer that will ‘captivate him’ and would not consider leaving the Wanda Metropolitano if it meant a salary reduction.
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Man United could break their transfer record this summer (Image: Express Sport)
United are in the market for a new central midfielder and have been linked with a move for West Ham’s Declan Rice.
Solskjaer is reportedly not satisfied with his current options of Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in holding midfield and wants a new player for the position.
However, United have more pressing concerns, with a central defensive partner for Harry Maguire and a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho their priorities.
Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is the player most consistently mentioned as a new defender at Old Trafford, while Atalanta’s Cristian Romero and Villarreal’s Pau Torres have also been linked.
Meanwhile, it looks as though United’s long-running pursuit of Sancho could finally be set to come to a conclusion, with the two clubs reportedly locked in negotiations over a transfer fee.