Manchester United could take advantage of Atletico Madrid’s financial situation by signing Saul Niguez for half his €150m asking price, according to reports.
The Spanish club are set to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with funds tightening as a result – and with France’s Ligue 1 being cancelled, they may be fearful that La Liga will follow suit.
Atletico are currently outside the Champions League places, so if the league was to stop, they would miss out on the extra revenue from qualification for the tournament that has been a staple part of their budget for several years.
According to AS, that could lead them to sell some of their key players to make up the funds – and the news will be of interest to Manchester United, who have been interested in Saul Niguez for some time.
It is claimed that Atletico could buckle and the Red Devils could sign Saul for just €75m, which is half the value of his release clause.
The midfielder has been touted as a potential replacement if Paul Pogba leaves Old Trafford, and United are willing to offer him a much-improved salary to the one he currently earns in Spain.
Apart from a loan spell at Rayo Vallecano for the 2013-14 season, Saul has spent his entire professional career with Atletico, and is on a huge contract until 2026, although the club may be forced to part ways with him if they cannot guarantee income from elsewhere.
And previous suggestions that it would take a club record fee for United to sign the 25-year-old appear to be no longer the case.
It may be easier for Saul to negotiate a Premier League transfer given that he is represented by Gareth Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett – so United will surely be alert to the situation.