Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez has responded to the rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United this summer.
The 25-year-old has been highly sought after for some time but his nine-year contract with a €150 million (£131m) release clause has made him untouchable in the transfer market.
However, there have been a number of reports in the last two months linking the Spaniard with a move to Old Trafford and a recent report claimed that a £71 million fee has been agreed and that a deal is practically concluded.
Speaking to Radio Marca via Goal.com, Saul initially seemed keen to dispel the rumours.
‘I see things on Instagram or in newspapers which you publish, but I haven’t heard anything from any club’ he said.
‘I’m focused on finishing this season, achieving the objective [of finishing in the top four] and then dreaming about the Champions League.
‘I have a long-term contract, which I signed because I want to stay here. I don’t have any problem staying here because my family are here, it’s my home.’
The next words out of the player’s mouth, though, were a little more cryptic:
‘People say, “come out and deny it”, but then if you deny it and something happens, you look bad.
‘I just stick to playing football and what has to happen will happen’.
He is clearly leaving the door open with these remarks.
Any deal for the Spaniard is complicated by a third-party shared ownership of his contract.
A consortium called Quality Football, led by superagent Jorge Mendes and former United CEO Peter Kenyon, have a 40% stake in Saul and the terms of the agreement stipulate that Atletico would be required to give the consortium 40% of any amount bid for him whether the deal went ahead or not.
This would mean, for example, that the Rojiblancos would have to fork out £28 million to Mendes and Kenyon if they turned down a £70 million offer from the Red Devils.
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