Manchester City reportedly defeat FC Barcelona to sign Saul Niguez. Manchester City
are reportedly closing in on signing Athletico Madrid star Saul Niguez edging past Barcelona in the race to sign him this summer.
Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to beat Barcelona to the signing of Saul Niguez in the summer in a deal that would cost them around £80M. Guardiola has reportedly been tracking the development of the defensive midfielder for the last six months, who would come in as a long term replacement for Fernandinho. The Brazilian midfielder would be turning 34 at the end of the season and Guardiola has made replacing him his priority in the summer.
The Man City Boss had earlier prioritized the signing of Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong but ended up losing to Barcelona in the race for the 21 year old. Frenkie rejected advances from City as well as Paris-Saint-Germain in January to sign a pre-contract agreement with the La Liga table toppers ahead of a €75m move to the Camp Nou in the summer. The Blaugrana Giants are once again providing stiff competition for Saul but Guardiola is confident of beating his former club to the deal this time around.
Athletico are already out of the Copa Del Ray and 10 points behind La Liga toppers Barcelona. To add to that, Athletico’s elimination from the Champions League last week after a 2-3 aggregate defeat to Juventus has raised questions on the futures of several key players at the Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico are reportedly in dire need to sell some of their stars in the summer to raise much-needed funds in order to restrengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming season.
Saul has reportedly informed his representatives of a move from Atletico in the summer as he doesn’t feel like he still has a long term future there. Despite Athleti eager to hold out for €120, sources claim that a fee of around €80m would be enough to convince the La Liga outfit to sell. Saul was heavily linked with the Premier League champions in a January Transfer window but Guardiola himself put down all rumours of the Spaniard’s move to the Ethiad Stadium any sooner.
“Man City have interest in 125 players in the last day so it is just one more,” Guardiola had said. “Sometimes I read Pep Guardiola has interest in this player but I don’t know him. He is a fantastic player but we are not interested in him. He is an Atletico player and will stay there for a long time. But he is an exceptional player,” he had added.