Following the completion of Varane’s move, it is thought that the club will then turn their attention to Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez with the player’s representatives understood to have flown into the UK to drum up interest; United reportedly being in pole position.
Despite the 26-year-old, who has five years remaining on his contract, commanding a buy-out clause of £128 million, it is thought that a fee in the region of £40 million will be a more realistic price.
Manchester United weighing up a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez – Daily Mail https://t.co/G5l74kUNIW
Interestingly, his boss Deigo Simeone is open to the player moving on, due to the fact that he is able to accommodate him in his preferred central role on the pitch, as well as knowing that the Spaniard is keen for a fresh challenge.
Indeed, Simeone is understood to have given United boss Solskjaer a clue as to how he can convince the midfielder to move and that is to make assurances about his playing position.
With Liverpool and Barcelona (the latter being unlikely due to financial issues) also thought to be keen, it means that United will have to act fast, though, despite there being a chance the deal could go through, it could spell an end to Paul Pogba’s career at Manchester United.
The Frenchman has already indicated that he will not be signing a new deal at Old Trafford and has been linked with a move away this summer, with former club Juventus and PSG thought to be interested.
Where would Saul fit in at Man Utd?
Currently, United are blessed with options in the centre of the pitch and it will be interesting to see where Saul would operate should he seal a move to Old Trafford and also if Pogba ends up staying.
Already Solskjaer has a variety of players to choose from in addition to Pogba, which includes Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek, Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, and Jesse Lingard, not to mention a handful of youth talents, while Phil Jones can also play there.
Saul’s arrival could see a couple of players move on with a question mark hanging over last summer’s signing Van de Beek. Due to limited playing time, there were rumours that the Dutchman was keen to move in search of regular first-team football prior to Euro 2020. Such whispers have since died down.
Saul sees himself as a central attacking midfielder or deep-lying playmaker, which could cause some disruption to the Man Utd lineup. Fernandes appears to operate best as the former, while Van de Beek has shown preferences to playing in a deeper role.
However, Saul has all of the attributes to become a world-class player and was thought to be the heir to Xavi in the Spain national team. Strong in the air, with an eye for the final ball and ability to find pockets of space, there is no doubt that he would give United something extra.
A former Press Association Sports Journalist (NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists), now based in Lisbon, Matt also has over a decade of experience working with the top operator brands. These include Coral, BetVictor, and numerous others, having held a number of senior positions and still retains strong industry relationships. He enjoys reading, writing, travelling, all things business, sport, meeting new people, learning new things and also holds football coaching qualifications.