Manchester United will reportedly have to pay Saul Niguez’s full release clause if they’re to land the Atletico Madrid star this summer. The Spain international has been earmarked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the ideal midfield partner for Bruno Fernandes ahead of the transfer window. But the Red Devils won’t be able to land him on the cheap.
Manchester United are looking at midfield partners for Fernandes ahead of the summer transfer window, with Paul Pogba expected to be shown the door.
Much has been made of the duo finally getting to play together when the Premier League resumes but it’s unlikely to be for too long, with Pogba still chasing a move away.
That’s led to United eyeing a deal for Saul, who has flourished at Atletico under Diego Simeone in recent years.
It was claimed last week that the Red Devils were hopeful of signing the player on the cheap, having believed Atletico could sell for less due to their current financial situation.
But Marca insist that isn’t the case and that United would have to pay the full £135million release clause of the player.
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That would make him the most-expensive signing in the club’s entire history.
Pogba remains their costliest recruit to date, costing them £89m when he returned from Juventus in the summer of 2016.
Harry Maguire is next up, with United paying a massive £80m to bring him to Old Trafford from Leicester last year.
And the club forked out £75m on Romelu Lukaku when they brought him to the Theatre of Dreams from Everton three years ago.
Atletico are determined to keep their squad together as they target success under Simeone, who is committed to the long term.
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And they believe the possibility of letting Saul go on the cheap is ‘unthinkable’.
Solskjaer had expressed a desire to exploit sides in the transfer market earlier this month, telling Sky Sports News: “Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens.
“Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players?
“There might be just a situation there where you can exploit.
“And I know that we at Man United we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off.”
And, speaking recently, United legend Rio Ferdinand advocated the signing of Saul to his old club.
“He’s another one, what a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now,” said the six-time Premier League winner.
“I think he’s a major player.
“Composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware.
“You can see Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.
“Saul Niguez is huge and it’s come out in the papers this week that Man Utd are interested in him, but we’ll have to wait and see. Man Utd are linked to everyone.”
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