Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has made Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez his main summer priority, a report claims.
The central midfielder has spent most of his career with Atletico, having just one season away from the club on loan at Rayo Vallecano in 2013-14.
The Spaniard, who has a massive contract until 2026 – by which time he will be 32 years old – has been linked with a range of top clubs, including Manchester United, Barcelona and Guardiola’s City.
Guardiola did seemingly rule out a move from City for the 15-time Spain international: “If I believe what I see, Manchester City had interest in 125 players so it’s just one more.
“He’s fantastic but we are not interested in him – he’ll stay at Atletico for a long time, but he’s an exceptional player.”
However, a report from the Mirror claims that Guardiola has in fact made Saul his top priority for the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old is “seen as the perfect replacement for veteran defensive midfielder Fernandinho as City bosses look to address the big weakness in Pep Guardiola’s squad this summer,” the report claims.
City missed out on the signing of Frenkie de Jong, and they are aware that they will have to smash their previous £60m transfer record in order to land Saul, who has a €150m release clause.
The report goes on to state that the Premier League champions are keen on Lyon duo Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar but they will cost at least £80m each.
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