Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Saul Niguez, but it’s Chelsea and Manchester City who have made contact with his agent, according to reports.
Saul is under contract with Atletico Madrid until 2026 and is one of the club’s highest earners, but found his game time reduced under Diego Simeone last term.
And with Atletico under financial strain they’ve offered him to Barcelona and Juventus in recent weeks, with a swap involving Barca’s Antoine Griezmann put forward.
A report on Sunday suggested there was a ‘growing belief’ from United that they could land Saul for around £45million, despite a buyout clause of £128million.
But Spanish reports claim Chelsea and Manchester City have made the most progress towards securing a deal for Saul.
Marca (via Sport Witness) state that the two Champions League finalists have ‘been in contact with Saul’s agents over a potential summer move’.
The report claims Thomas Tuchel is driving interest from Chelsea, while there is no further information on Liverpool’s angling.
It’s also confirmed that a bid of around £45million should be enough to land Saul, whether it comes from Chelsea, City or United this summer.
Simeone has directly addressed the rumours surrounding Saul.
He said: “We cannot put aside what is rumoured and talked about.
“If he has to leave, [I’ll] give him a big hug, wish him the best with the boys who gave us life and to continue being friends, as always. Either to Barcelona or elsewhere.”
The manager suggested that Saul wants to play a more prominent role, wherever he ends up.
“Last season he spoke with the club, with us about his needs and what he spoke about was the option of having a position on the pitch where he feels more important,” he said.
“And I consider that Saul became Saul by playing everywhere, but he or many of those around him see it as something negative.
“He is very important for Atletico because he can play as a full-back, right-wing, midfielder. He gives us a lot of options to be able to count on him. He is a player who, in that version and playing how the coach needs him to, performs very well.”