Manchester United appear to be prioritising their pursuit of Raphael Varane this summer, but another Madrid-based star could also be on his way to Old Trafford.
What’s the story?
According to Spanish outlet AS (as reported by the Manchester Evening News), Saul Niguez is a wanted man, with rumours of a swap deal between the Atletico Madrid midfielder and Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann continuing to rumble on.
However, the report claims that the swap deal hasn’t progressed much in recent days, leading to Saul’s agent contacting both United and their fierce rivals Liverpool to sound out a potential move to the Premier League.
Atletico are thought to be calm about the situation and are set to demand €40m (£34.2m) for the highly-rated Spain international.
Should United sign Saul Niguez?
Solskjaer would love him
With the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred and Scott McTominay to call upon, United are well-stocked in the centre of the pitch at this moment in time.
Having said that, speculation over Pogba’s future continues to grow, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be forced into the transfer market to strengthen his engine room over the coming months.
Therefore, a move for Saul may be an extremely appealing prospect for the Norwegian tactician.
The technically gifted dynamo has established himself as a world-class operator in recent years, scoring 43 goals and providing 19 assists in 337 appearances for Atleti, winning one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey and two Europe League crowns along the way.
His impressive performances saw Saul linked with a move to Old Trafford as recently as 12 months ago when he was also outlined as a potential replacement for Pogba.
Former United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand lauded the Spaniard following the transfer talk, praising his ability on the ball and tactical awareness.
“I don’t want Pogba to go, but if he does go, I’d take Saul Niguez all day long. Not like-for-like but still a top player,” Ferdinand said.
“What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now. I think he’s a major player. He’s composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware.
“You can see (Diego) Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up, and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”
It remains to be seen whether United make a move for Saul this summer, but with only a year remaining on his current contract, he could be a real bargain for whoever takes an interest.