A surprising new report from one of Spain’s leading football outlets claims that Manchester United are closing in on a deal to sign Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.
The Spaniard has been linked with United over a number of windows but after an initial flurry this time around, the trail had appeared to go cold with just a week left before deadline day.
But United’s poor midfield performance against Southampton at the weekend highlighted the need for a midfielder capable of marshalling the area between defence and attack.
This may have put the unsettled Saul back on the agenda as AS claims.
‘Atlético promises to have a very busy last market week [and] could have a last minute departure,’ the outlet claims.
‘As AS has learned, two Premier League clubs have launched to take over Saúl Ñíguez’s services and his departure may be imminent.
‘Manchester United and Chelsea love the player, [but] United have taken the lead in the negotiations, as they are looking for a midfielder with the profile that Saúl exploited so much in past seasons.’
And in a twist that will excite fans who were losing hope about the Red Devils’ empty transfer kitty, the deal is expected to come in the form of a loan.
‘The formula proposed to take over his services has a certain similarity to the one that ended Morata at Juventus. An loan deal in exchange for a substantial financial sum and the payment of a good part of his salary.’
It is surprising to hear that Atleti would be willing to countenance such a deal, especially as the 26-year-old’s absence would leave them short of cover in midfield.
However, the player is known to be unhappy and Diego Simeone might feel that reducing the wage bill and giving the player the chance to refind the form that deserted him for a large part of last season might be a gamble worth taking.
Whatever the case, if true, the news from Spain is very exciting for Manchester United as the transfer window draws to a close.