According to Spanish publication Diario AS, Manchester City are keeping close tabs on Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez as the midfielder has been given permission to leave the club this summer.
Saul Niguez, 26, is an Atletico Madrid stalwart having made over 330 appearances, scoring 43 goals and supplying 19 assists in the process. However, he started only 22 of his 33 league outings last term, as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid won the LaLiga title.
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Having lost his place in Diego Simeone’s starting XI, the Spanish international has expressed his desire to move on for pastures new this summer.
Diario AS report Sporting Director Andrea Berta views Saul Niguez, Vitolo, and Santiago Arias as the key players to generate money and boost Atletico’s summer transfer kitty.
The LaLiga champions have informed Saul that he would be allowed to leave provided his exit brings a substantial amount of money.
The 26-year-old midfielder has a contract at The Wanda Metropolitano until the summer of 2026 and is protected with a release clause of €128 million, meaning he won’t come cheap.
However, Atletico’s readiness to accept €40m in the current market has also left Liverpool and Manchester United on red alert, the report adds.
Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is planning to refresh his squad with a couple of high-profile signings this summer. The Cityzens romped away to the Premier League title after a slow start to the 2020/21 season, whilst winning another Carabao Cup trophy.
The defeat in the Champions League final to Chelsea in May, however, spoiled Guardiola’s dream of winning the treble with City. Having already lost Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers to Barcelona earlier this month, it is important for the City boss to replace them during this transfer window.
In addition, City could do well by signing a new central midfielder with Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan sustaining injuries this past campaign. While Fernandinho will soon agree on a new one-year contract extension with the Sky Blues, he is 36 and has entered the final phase of his career.
That being said, a player like Saul Niguez would be a welcome addition to the Cityzens. Saul is a reliable and experienced midfielder who’ll undoubtedly boost City’s options in the middle of the park, whilst adding strength in depth. The Spaniard’s versatility to operate at left-back or in a deeper midfield role should benefit Guardiola too.
Rumoured to be available at around €40m this summer, Saul is certainly a player City cannot miss out on.