Liverpool are showing the most interest in Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, according to reports in Spain.
Currently on the hunt for a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, Liverpool have identified Saul as a potential solution. The Spanish midfielder has fallen out of favour with Atletico, where he is still under contract until 2026. Despite this, they seem to be trying to offload him this summer.
Such a move seems to be against his will, but Saul may have to consider his options. The arrival of Rodrigo De Paul at the Wanda Metropolitano has only added further competition for his place.
Therefore, there has been talk of a potential swap deal with Barcelona that would see Saul move to Camp Nou and Antoine Griezmann return to the capital. However, both deals would have to be negotiated separately, which may complicate the scenario.
In the background, Liverpool have been showing an interest and that may be an easier transfer route. And according to AS, the Premier League side are the “most enthusiastic” suitor for Saul.
At the age of 26, Saul should be approaching his prime. Even though Atletico seem willing to dispense of him, a change of scenery could help him get back to his best. Therefore, he could be an ideal opportunity for Liverpool.
However, he will not come cheap. The report warns that a price of €40m, which has been speculated in the English media, would be “insufficient”.
Even so, Saul is no longer as expensive as he once was, so he may be within reach for Liverpool. But he remains just one of several options they are considering.
Liverpool will thus have to work out who is the best value-for-money option. Given that they let Wijnaldum go for free, it is essential they find a good deal for his replacement.
Liverpool midfielder wowing coaches
One player who could help fill the void left by Wijnaldum may already be at the club.
Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player with a point to prove ahead of next season. The 27-year-old struggled for game time last season after missing the first three months with a knee injury.
He will be looking to stay healthy in the upcoming campaign and may get more chances following Wijnaldum’s exit.
And according to assistant boss Pep Lijnders, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made a strong start to pre-season.