Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid reatcs during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Girona FC at Wanda Metropolitano on April 02, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by The Sun, Manchester United have been found to have arranged secret scouting trips to monitor Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez’s performances against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League last 16 before the football world came to a standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same source has also claimed that the Red Devils are willing to cough up £70m for the Spanish playmaker and also offer a bumper pay increase to lure the player to Old Trafford this summer.

It is believed that Saul is currently earning around £115,000-a-week in wages at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Man United are prepared to offer him wages closer to the £200,000-a-week mark which is nearly double of what he is earning right now (via The Sun).

Niguez’s Majestic Career At The Wanda Metropolitano 

Saul has been showered with a lot of praise for his incredible contributions at the heart of Diego Simeone’s midfield over the past few years. His impact at Madrid was rewarded back in 2017 when the Spanish giants tied him down to a nine-year contract. The 26-year-old has maintained a level of consistency with his performances this season and put on a brilliant show in the two-legged Champions League last-16 win over Liverpool earlier this season.

The Elche-born talent has been involved in 37 matches for Simeone’s team this term, netting four goals across all fronts. However, he is yet to open his assists account for this campaign which is quite uncharacteristic for a player of his creative expertise.

On the defensive side, Saul has averaged 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the La Liga so far (stats via whoscored). He has an even better record in Europe after averaging 2.0 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 2.5 clearances in every 90 minutes of Champions League football this season (stats via whoscored). The Spaniard’s numbers shed light on his growing impact in the Atletico midfield, so it is not a surprise that a top club like Man United are keeping tabs on his progress at the Spanish capital.

Saul Niguez (2ndL) of Atletico de Madrid competes for the ball with Vasyl Kravets (L) and his teammate Kenneth Omeruo (R) of Deportivo Leganese during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and CD Leganes at Wanda Metropolitano on March 09, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

What Are The 19-Time Spanish International’s Best Attributes?

Saul is a complete midfielder as he can affect the game at both ends of the field. He can use his football intelligence to read the danger quickly and make some well-timed tackles at the centre of the park. The La Liga star can also position himself well to make a few crucial last-gasp clearances for his side and is not afraid to put his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition. He can also contribute by scoring the odd goal but needs to improve his end-product if he intends to compete for some major trophies in the coming seasons.

Will Saul Be A Good Fit For The Mancunian Giants?

Landing a midfielder of Saul’s quality will undoubtedly be a brilliant acquisition for the Red Devils this summer. He will not only add some much-needed bite and steel to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield but also improve the overall depth of the Norwegian’s squad at Old Trafford. Both Nemanja Matic and Fred have struggled to maintain a level of consistency with their performances for Man United this season. Maybe swapping one of them out for a player of Saul’s skill set could be the way to go for Solskjaer as he looks to build a strong squad capable of challenging for top honours in the years to come.

The Atletico midfielder possesses all the qualities that are expected of a Man United player and has the potential to form a fierce midfield partnership with Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba, provided the latter stays at the Theatre of Dreams beyond this summer. His addition will also free up space for the creative players such as Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James to wreak havoc in the final third. All in all, Saul will be an excellent fit for Solskjaer’s brand of football at Manchester as he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what the Norwegian head coach is looking for ahead into the new campaign.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.