Reports coming out of Spain this morning claim that Liverpool have tabled a formal offer for Saul Niguez.
Reds’ boss Jürgen Klopp is a big fan of the 26-year-old midfielder and our interest is genuine. However, there are various conflicting claims about that interest and what the actual state of play is.
It was claimed earlier this month that Reds had an opening offer rejected for Saul and that we had walked away from negotiations due to strong interest in the player from Barcelona. We were led to believe that we had walked but would return to the table if a proposed deal between Atletico and Barcelona collapsed, which it appears to have. Fresh reports claim that today’s apparent offer is Liverpool’s first and not an improved bid. It is now claimed that we have offered €40million (£34.5m) plus two players and that Liverpool would be willing to include the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri or Jordan Henderson in any deal.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has refused to rule out that Saul could leave this summer and has said that he will give the midfielder a ‘big hug’ should he be sold.
Simeone said: “Last season he spoke with the club, with us about his needs and what he spoke about was the option of having a position on the pitch where he feels more important.
“And I consider that Saul became Saul by playing everywhere, but he or many of those around him see it as something negative.
“He is very important for Atletico because he can play as a full-back, right winger, midfielder. He 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.
“We cannot put aside what is rumoured and talked about,’ he added.
“If he has to leave, we’ll give him a big hug, wish him the best with the boys who gave us life and to continue being friends, as always. Either to Barcelona or elsewhere.”
Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Manchester United are also said to be sniffing around the versatile player.