Manchester United are not in the running to make a late bid to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, according to reports.
It appears that United have briefed a number of outlets making it clear that their summer transfer business has already concluded.
The £34m signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid was seemingly their final dip into the market.
The Daily Mail report that United “are distancing themselves from an imminent move” for the Atletico man.
The Manchester Evening News also claims that a deal for Saul is “unlikely” and that Chelsea may well have a free run to sign the player.
Atletico are understood to be looking to sell the 26-year-old, despite him starting in both of their LaLiga games to date.
Saul has apparently made it abundantly clear that he would like a new challenge after spending his entire career at the capital club.
Diego Simeone told AS in July that the versatile man wanted to “feel more important”.
“I consider that Saul became Saul by playing everywhere. But he or many of those around him see it as something negative,” he explained.
“He is very important for Atletico because he can play as a full-back, right-wing, midfielder.
“Saul gives us a lot of options to be able to count on him. He is a player who, in that version and playing how the coach needs him to, performs very well.”
Chelsea to sell first
The news that United are not serious contenders for Saul will give Chelsea a clear pathway to land the Spain star.
Atletico are hoping to sell Saul for £38m, a fee that has spiked Thomas Tuchel’s interest. Earlier this week, according to the Daily Telegraph, an agreement was close between the two clubs.
They report that Chelsea want to take Saul on an initial loan – an arrangement Atletico will adhere to. However, they want an agreement in place from Chelsea first. And that is to state that any temporary arrangement comes with a guarantee to make the move permanent next summer.
And while Chelsea are keen, Blues director Marina Granovskaia, has laid down some conditions of her own. Indeed, the signing of Saul will also depend on the Blues moving on four or five fringe players first.