According to multiple reports coming from Spain, Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez is on the verge of being involved in a blockbuster swap deal. The usual suspects Barcelona are in business again as they court La Liga champions Atletico Madrid with an ambitious proposal. The swap deal would see Atletico’s Saul move to Barcelona with Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann going the other way.
After another day of negotiations, there’s still no final agreement between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for Griezmann-Saúl swap deal. Talks ongoing but no agreement yet. 🔴 #FCB #Atleti
Saúl also has received bids from Premier League clubs and Atléti are prepared to sell him.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 16, 2021
The move including Saul and Griezmann might make a lot of sense. Barcelona are trying desperately to balance their books as they look to undo the damage caused by their ex-President Josep Bartomeu. The board, headed by Joan Laporta, has only one mission on mind currently. They are looking to cut their wage bill to accommodate Lionel Messi. The legendary Argentine international’s contract expired on July first. He is unable to sign a new deal as Barcelona’s wage bill exceeds the cap set by La Liga.
As a result, they are searching for solutions to fix this problem. Saul Niguez, who has stalled at Atletico in the last two years was chosen as the right man. The Spanish midfielder played bits and parts in their title-winning campaign. He is also attracting interest from other clubs and has to decide where his future lies and must revive his career.
THE AMBITIOUS SWAP
Saul Niguez is a midfield maestro who started his career at Real Madrid. He moved across Madrid to join Atletico. Saul has been with the Los Rojiblancos ever since then except for a one-year loan to Rayo Vallecano. Saul is blessed with supreme technique and strong physicality to thrive as a defensive or a box-to-box midfielder. He had the world at his feet a couple of years ago. However, his progress has stalled in the past couple of years. Atletico signed Rodrigo de Paul to build on their league-winning campaign, making it even more difficult for Saul to regain his old place back.
BACK! @Atleti pic.twitter.com/m6a11HpepV
— Saúl Ñiguez (@saulniguez) July 10, 2021
Griezmann on the other hand had a wonderful stay at Atletico Madrid. The World Cup-winning forward won the Europa League and came close to winning the league at Atletico Madrid. Ever since Barcelona registered an initial interest in him, his head turned. The French attacker then forced and finished a controversial move to Catalunya. There were many doubts about him and he was crucified for every single miss by the Barcelona faithful. Despite giving his all for the team, there were dissatisfactions over him. Also, the fact that Griezmann reportedly earned north of €800k per week led to unrest amongst the fans.
FORÇA BARÇA 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/X3UhrO2WqH
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) April 22, 2021
Barcelona saw a window as they felt that they needed Griezmann off their books. Griezmann had flashes of his best form at Barcelona but not his best version. A move to Atletico might revive his career again. They also needed a strong midfielder to cover for the ageing Busquets and push Frenkie de Jong all the way. De Paul’s signing at Atletico means Saul can be allowed to leave. Since the valuation of both players is not the same, Barcelona are looking for extra cash or a player like Renan Lodi or Mario Hermoso along with Saul for Griezmann.
WHO ELSE WANTS SAUL?
Saul’s talents are appreciated well across Europe. Especially in the Premier League he is highly rated. It was recently rumoured that Liverpool approached Atletico for Saul and even had a bid accepted. Barcelona’s late entry changed the scenario. Even Chelsea are said to be on the hunt for him.
Numerous reports from Atletico Madrid based accounts claiming Saul Niguez is on his way to Liverpool.
The Reds have offered €40m + add-ons but Atletico want €50m.
They expect a deal to be agreed. pic.twitter.com/J86kKaH6sW
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) July 9, 2021
Liverpool lost Georginio Wijnaldum on a free transfer to PSG. They are looking for able replacements for the Dutch midfield engine. Saul is a midfielder who ticks all the boxes for the Reds. He offers physicality in the middle of the park and even possesses a goal threat as good as that of Wijnaldum. Jurgen Klopp wanted to get the signing done quickly. His plans were interrupted due to Barcelona’s involvement.
Chelsea are big spenders in the transfer market annually. They want to build on their Champions League success and bring in a world-class midfielder. Thomas Tuchel is a brilliant man-manager and can get the best out of Saul again.
Chelsea are going up against Barcelona.https://t.co/dFxGdQtZ3m
— Chelsea FC News (@Chelsea_FL) July 17, 2021
In a pandemic-riddled world, players can lose form in a moment. But as they say, form is temporary and class is permanent. Saul’s potential is limitless and he can only learn from this blip to emerge as a better player for years to come.