Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has reportedly said the club are trying to get rid of him this summer, amidst interest from Liverpool.
Saul has been linked heavily with a move to Liverpool, who want to sign the Spaniard to replace Gini Wijnaldum in the squad.
The Dutchman ended his five-year stay at the club by leaving on a free transfer, and his absence will be felt as he was a key part of Jürgen Klopp’s team.
Saul has been one of the most consistent players for Atletico Madrid in the last few years. However, the club are looking to offload him to raise funds.
Atletico Madrid have already signed Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese, and he is expected to take Saul’s place in the squad.
When Saul was asked by a group of supporters during pre-season to give an update on his future, he said:
“They’re kicking me out of here, man.”
Liverpool will have to stave off competition from Barcelona to sign Saul
Barcelona are currently looking to reduce their wage bill, and the Blaugrana have been linked with a move for Saul in a swap deal that would see Antoine Griezmann move the other way.
Griezmann is currently the highest earner at the club, with Lionel Messi no longer under contract with Barcelona.
It remains to be seen if Saul will be keen to join Liverpool should they make a bid. The chance to remain in Spain could appeal to the midfielder.
Liverpool will have to pay at least £35 million to sign Saul, That’s not a steep asking price, but the Reds want to sell a few players first to reinvest that money to sign fresh faces.
Still only 26, Saul would be a good long-term replacement for Wijnaldum. He isn’t injury-prone, and would fit in well in Liverpool’s midfield.
The Reds will hope to get the deal across the line and beat Barcelona to Saul’s signature as he would be a good acquisition in an otherwise inflated transfer market.
Also read: Fabrizio Romano’s Transfer Roundup: Update on Manchester United’s transfer plans, Barca’s plan for Antoine Griezmann and more