Rumoured Manchester United target Saúl Ñíguez has asked for an exit away from Atletico Madrid this summer, according to reports from Spain.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to be looking to strengthen in the defensive midfield department this summer and although Saul more often takes up the number eight role, he can certainly put in a good shift in a more defensive position.
Although Atleti won La Liga, Saúl didn’t have the best of seasons and ‘lost prominence’ at the club, although he finished strongly.
However this doesn’t mean that the Rojiblancos will be open to selling him cheaply this summer, even after securing rumoured target Rodrigo De Paul.
Considered a ‘hot potato’ by AS.com, Saúl is one of three players who are most likely to exit Atletico this summer, with Vitolo and Santiago Arias being the other two.
‘Saúl is going to be the soap opera of the summer at Atlético,’ AS reports.
‘The player has permission from the club to leave as long as the deal leaves a significant amount of money in their coffers.
‘At 26, he has a contract until 2026 and his clause is €150 million [£129m].
The Spaniard has been at the Wanda Metropolitano since 2008.
The Red Devils aren’t the only club that are being heavily linked to the player, with neighbours Manchester City and rivals Liverpool also in the mix.
The midfielder has a contract that runs until 2026 and with a market value of £34 million, it seems unlikely that any club will meet that £129m release clause.
However, at a more realistic price closer to market value, United could very well be tempted to take the plunge for a player who has been on their radar for some time.