Two reported Manchester United transfer targets, Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann, are reportedly on the brink of switching clubs in an exchange deal between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
United were in talks with Atleti to sign French playmaker Griezmann in 2016 but the player chose to stay put to help his club out following a transfer ban.
He subsequently moved to Barcelona, who now find themselves in financial turmoil and so are looking to move him on.
Interest from United this time around is unlikely although The Express have suggested that it might be rekindled.
Niguez, on the other hand, has been linked to United consistently for over a year and is reported to be on the shortlist for replacements should Paul Pogba move on this summer.
United’s previous interest had been dampened by the Spaniard’s high buyout clause of €150 million (£129m) and long contract, taking him to 2026 with the Rojiblancos.
However, bizarrely, a recent report from The Daily Star has claimed that Niguez’s release clause is now just £43 million and that United were prepared to trigger it.
Whether or not that is true, Saul’s unrest and the Colchoneros’ financial problems have certainly softened their stance in regard to letting him go.
Liverpool have also been strongly linked with the 26-year-old as they search for a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who has joined PSG.
But Mundo Deportivo are now reporting that Barcelona, who had hoped to sign Wijnaldum themselves, want Saul and that Atleti would like to bring Griezmann back to the fold in a swap deal that really does make sense for both clubs.
An exchange gets around the financial problems that both are facing while bolstering their respective squads with world class players in positions they need to strengthen.
The report says there is a proviso that Lionel Messi re-signs for Barca, otherwise Griezmann would be required as he is his natural replacement.
United for their part will know that, should Pogba leave, one of their main options for replacing him is unlikely to be available to them as this exchange moves towards completion.