Barcelona reportedly have the upper hand against Manchester United in the race for an Atletico Madrid star, with the Catalan giants set to make a 150 million bid.
The Catalan giants have been searching for a potential replacement for Andres Iniesta for a long time, chasing after the likes of Paul Pogba, Thiago Alcantara, Sergej Milnkovic Savic and a few others but nothing has materialized. However, it has now been revealed that Barcelona have the lead in the race for a brilliant La Liga midfielder, someone who could help them replace the irreplaceable superstar.
22-year-old Saul Niguez has risen to prominence under Diego Simone’s tenure at Atletico Madrid and has become a mainstay on the team-sheet. However, his performances off late have been watched very carefully by the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Barcelona, as they look to replace their ageing stars. The Elche born star has flourished at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium since arrival in 2007 from Real Madrid after struggling there as a youngster.
Since then he has not only matured but turned into a key star as Diego Simeone and his team chase after a La Liga title. However, according to reports from Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have first refusal on any offer for the 22-year-old star. When the Catalan giants sold David Villa to Atletico Madrid, Barcelona included that as part of the deal they get first refusal on both Saul Niguez and Javier Manquillo.
Now that the Spaniard midfielder has matured and become among Atletico Madrid’s best stars, the 22-year-old Saul Niguez could be the perfect replacement for Andres Iniesta. However, what could be the breaking point is Niguez’s release clause which is at a massive 150 million. The youngster signed a brand new contract extension with the Wanda Metropolitano side, which essentially keeps him at the club until 2026.
Despite his tender age of 22, the youngster has still made 162 appearances for the club since he was brought up from the Atletico Madrid B team. He’s brilliant in the air and can also do his part defensively and like Fabregas, Niguez can dictate the tempo of game if he desires. Signing him would do wonders for Chelsea, but it’s tough to see Atletico Madrid letting him go.