Manchester United have been linked with a surprising move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
According to French journalist Frances Aguilar, the Red Devils are in advanced negotiations with Atletico for the services of the 26-year-old dynamo, making them favourites for his signature.
The Spanish giants have been negotiating a swap deal with Barcelona for Saul, one which would see Antoine Griezmann return to the Wanda Metropolitano, but that could now be in jeopardy.
After finishing second in the Premier League standings last term, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has wasted no time strengthening his first-team squad this summer.
The long-awaited signing of Jadon Sancho is set to be announced imminently, while Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane appears to be edging closer towards the Old Trafford outfit.
And the duo could be joined by a surprise acquisition following the recent revelation regarding Saul’s future.
The Spain international had been heavily linked with a move to United’s bitter rivals Liverpool in recent weeks, but news that the club’s hierarchy are reportedly in talks for the £36m-rated ace will have the supporters buzzing.
With Paul Pogba’s contract set to expire in the summer of 2022, his future is far from clear, and Saul would be a capable replacement, significantly softening the blow of his potential departure.
Over the last years, Saul has established himself as one of the sports top midfielders, scoring 43 goals and providing 19 assists in 337 appearances for his boyhood club, winning one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey and two Europa Leagues along the way.
However, after only starting 22 top-flight fixtures last term and missing out on Luis Enrique’s 24-man squad for the European Championship, the midfield conductor is keen to seek pastures new.
His arrival on English shores would be a significant coup for Solskjaer, and the Norwegian tactician would suddenly have substantial strength in depth in the middle of the park.
Saul’s acquisition would add to the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Fred and Scott McTominay, providing United with an enviable array of talent.
Whether the Red Devils follow up their negotiations with a concrete offer remains to be seen, but it’s set to be an exciting time for fans of the 20-time English champions as the club’s hierarchy look to be serious about strengthening their side.