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Manchester United linked with Atletico Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez

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The search for a deep-lying playmaker continues...

Real Valladolid CF v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United’s continued search for a key midfield signing this summer has led them to interest in Atletico Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez. Saúl has been a mainstay in Diego Simeone’s setup since 2015, and is well versed in the many midfield duties that entails. There is heavy interest from clubs across Europe, and United will have stiff competition for the Spaniard.

The initial transfer reported for Saúl was a swap deal move to FC Barcelona. In that scenario he would be included in a deal that would send Antoine Griezmann back to Atletico. Complications over Griezmann’s wages have stalled negotiations however, and more than one Premier League club are interested in swooping in to hijack the move. It is rumoured that rivals Liverpool are interested in Saúl as well, and any move would likely involve beating out multiple other interested parties.

Saúl checks a few boxes for Manchester United’s midfield. He can play a deeper role to offer defensive help and spring counter attacks as well as press the opposition higher up the pitch and make forward runs into attacking positions. He’s had a few very good years for Atletico, and at just 26 he’s already played in several high stakes games. He is remembered for a fantastic solo goal against Bayern Munich to help win a Champions League Semi-Final tie in 2016, and more recently was an important part of Atletico’s La Liga title winning campaign and Spain’s run to the Semi-Final of UEFA Euro 2020.