Manchester United are still in the race to sign Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid, according to reports.
The Spain international had been linked with a move to Barcelona as part of a swap deal taking Antoine Griezmann back to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
But according to AS, discussions between Barcelona and Atletico have failed to progress, meaning Saul is now back on the market.
Diego Simeone is willing to cash in on the 26-year-old, whose sale would generate funds that could be reinvested in the squad.
Atletico won the La Liga title last term but are still keen to bolster their ranks ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
Saul is under contract in the Spanish capital until 2026, having signed an extraordinary nine-year deal with Atletico in 2017.
But the midfielder was in and out of the team last season, and is seen as expendable by the long-serving Simeone.
Atletico need to make space in their wage bill for a new striker, which is thought to be their priority in this summer’s market.
The report cites Manchester United and Liverpool as potential destinations, with Saul’s agent currently working to establish contact with Premier League clubs.
United have been linked with the Spaniard in recent weeks, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also attempting to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico.
There is still a chance that Saul could end up at the Camp Nou, with Griezmann moving in the other direction, but United’s chances of landing the midfielder have received a boost in recent days.
Their priority appears to be a centre back, though. Raphael Varane is Solskjaer’s top target now that United have completed a £73-million deal for Jadon Sancho, which could be announced on Monday.
The Red Devils might also be looking to strengthen in midfield. A partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay in the engine room might not be enough for United to win the Premier League.
That has to be the club’s aim in the upcoming campaign – and it looks like Solskjaer knows it.
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