Manchester United supporters have been warned not to expect an announcement they have agreed a deal to sign Saul Niguez on Wednesday after the Atletico Madrid star promised to “announce a new team” on Wednesday.
The Spain international, who has risen through the ranks at Atletico, signed a mammoth nine-year contract with the capital club in 2017.
Saul has become one of the first names on Diego Simeone’s team sheet and the manager made the 25-year-old one of his four captains for the current season.
However, United have been heavily linked with a swoop for the midfielder in recent weeks and one report claimed that talks between the Red Devils and Atletico over a deal were “practically closed”.
Indeed, it has also been claimed that Saul – who has a €150million release clause in his contract – could be available for half that price.
Fueling rumours he could be Old Trafford bound or at least set to leave Atletico, Saul took to Twitter on Sunday to announce: “I wanted to communicate something important to you”, adding “New club: I announce it. Three days”.
United fans understandably got excited by the tweet, but speaking on his YouTube page, Guillem Balague warned that Saul is not the sort of player to announce his departure from the club he loves in such a manner and that the announcement was little more than a publicity stunt.
Balague said: “By the way there’s no information, nobody knows what it is, apart from the people involved of course, but it’s pretty obvious in my eyes, well that’s what I think.
“First of all, he’s a big Atletico Madrid fan, or he feels very close to the club.
“He has renewed his contract despite having interest from others.
“He will always tell the club if he’s leaving but that will be at the right time if he leaves.
“Do you think he will put a post on Twitter saying that he’s going to another club?
“Doesn’t that sound to you like a bit of a commercial exercise of some kind? It does to me. I may be completely wrong but it sounds to me like a big commercial thing.
“That’s not how Saul does things, that’s not how Saul does things.
“Atletico Madrid will tell you they don’t expect anything because he’s not leaving.
“So I think I answered that there. But it has kept you busy and yes some media are mentioning Manchester United etc. We will see on Wednesday.”
And Balague was proved right when, at 10.30am on Wednesday morning, the Atletico star confirmed his announcement, with the ‘new team’ appearing to be a new project in the Spanish capital.
THERE IS A NEW TEAM IN THE CITY pic.twitter.com/fjhtJLW4El
— Club Costa City (@clubcostacity) June 3, 2020
Saul has made 37 appearances this season, chipping in with four goals along the way.
Atletico are through to the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Liverpool at Anfield in their last match before football’s enforced break, with Saul scoring in the first leg of the tie.
Ince gives thumbs up to Saul swoop
Former United midfielder Paul Ince has previously given his verdict on Saul, insisting that he would be a ready-made fit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
“I’ve watched Niguez for the last two or three years and I really like him. He’s got a lovely build and can score some special goals. There’s a culture about him and he’s still young with plenty of potential,” Ince said.
“The thing is, he won’t be cheap – that’s for sure. And, if you look to get him in, you have to think about what happens to Paul Pogba.
“There’s also talk about Felix, but he struggled in Spain – and there’s still a ferocity to the Premier League. You’ve got to think about if they can come in and play straight away.”