Liverpool appear to be progressing in their bid to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez this summer.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca [via The Mirror], the Reds have been in contact with the 26-year-old’s representatives over a move to Anfield, with the Spain international deemed surplus to requirements at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The report claims that Atletico are set to demand around £43m for Saul, although Liverpool’s fierce rivals Manchester United are thought to be his most likely destination.
With fellow Premier League side Chelsea also credited with an interest in the box-to-box dynamo, Jurgen Klopp may have to move quickly in order to secure his transfer target.
After progressing through the ranks at Atleti, Saul has established himself as a top-class central midfielder in recent years, winning one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey and two Europa Leagues with his boyhood club.
The technically gifted maestro has also scored 43 goals and provided a further 19 assists in 337 appearances for Los Rojiblancos, earning numerous plaudits with his impressive performances, including some from Rio Ferdinand.
As per TEAMtalk, the former England defender gushed: “What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now. I think he’s a major player. He’s composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware.
“You can see (Diego) Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up, and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”
However, an imminent exit from the Spanish capital now appears to be inevitable. Saul fell down the Atleti pecking order last season thanks to the rise of Marcos Llorente and missed out on Luis Enrique’s 24-man squad for Euro 2020 as a result.
His potential arrival at Anfield would certainly be welcomed by Klopp. The German is thought to be in the market for a new central midfielder following Gini Wijnaldum’s exit, leading to several big names being linked with a move to the Reds.
However, Saul is surely someone who Klopp would surely love to sign. The Spaniard has a rare mix of technical ability and physical prowess, which should allow him to slot into the Liverpool manager’s pressing style with ease.
The German will be acutely aware of the 26-year-old’s prowess, too, with the midfielder scoring against the Reds in a Champions League victory for Atletico in February 2020.
It remains to be seen whether the Anfield hierarchy follow up their apparent interest with a solid offer, but Saul’s arrival would be a significant coup, and possible one capable of propelling the 19-time English champions back to the Premier League summit.