Saul Niguez was one of the untouchables at Atletico Madrid until very recently, signing a nine-year contract in 2017 – an uncommon step in the football world. This summer, however, he’s been on the market for the whole of the transfer window.
Despite starting the first two games of the new season under Diego Simeone, the Spaniard is not being viewed as an integral part of the midfield further boosted by the arrival of Rodrigo De Paul from Italian outfit Udinese.
Saul is understood to be ‘very close to leaving Atletico Madrid for good’, and the Premier League has been reported as Saul’s destiny by AS (via SportWitness). Manchester United and Chelsea are the two clubs battling it out to sign the 26-year-old.
The Spanish outlet added that the Red Devils are winning the race at this stage, but Chelsea have also made significant progress in the past hours.
Saul will leave Atletico on loan with a buy option expected to be included in any potential deal with his new club taking care of the entire wages.
Chelsea, who also retain interest in Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, are stacked with quality options in the midfield at Stamford Bridge. As such, it’s hard to see the versatile midfielder getting any more game-time in London than at the Spanish capital.
At Old Trafford, nevertheless, there’s more pressing need in the middle of the park for a player of his ability.
It’ll be intriguing to see which English giant of the two pushes more for the Spain international in the remaining days of August.