Atleti rebuff Manchester United interest in Saúl

Spanish Under-21 captain 'not for sale' say the rojiblanco club

Saúl is enjoying an excellent season

Saúl is enjoying an excellent season

Atlético Madrid have denied reports that they are negotiating with Manchester United for the transfer of young midfield sensation Saúl Ñíguez.

Stories emerged over the weekend claiming that the English club were set to pay €20m for the 21 year-old, but club officials say that he is strictly “not far sale” and that they are not listening to any offers.

Antonio Ruiz from COPE broke news of a supposed bid on Sunday via his twitter feed, and today followed up that claim by saying that United had sent a delegation to Madrid to try and thrash out a deal.

Since then, news has spread around social media and the English press, with some even going far as saying that a deal to bring Saúl to Old Trafford was close to competion.

However, Atleti have denied these rumours, telling Mundo Deportivo that “Saúl is not for sale. The club are competing for trophies and need all of the players available to them.”

Ruiz is close to the club and Simeone, and is often on the ball with transfer news concerning the club, but it seems unlikely that Saúl would be sold mid-season especially given his impressive recent form.

Last month, El Confidencial stated that Saúl had agreed to join Arsenal before Tiago suffered a broken leg, but since then the youngster has been a regular in Cholo’s first XI.

He has started 10 of our last 11 matches, and with five goals in all competitions he is second only to Antoine Griezmann in the goalscoring stakes.

It is worth noting that Saúl’s agent is the notorious Jorge Mendes – who has close links to United – but he has always stated that he is happy at the Calderón and dreams of succeeding at the club he was raised.

Many reports incorrectly state that he has a buy-out clause of €24 million, the figure in his previous contract. He renewed with the rojiblancos back in May of last year, but details of the new clause were never made public.

Despite the recent signings of midfielders Augusto Fernández and Matías Kranevitter, Saúl appears still to be first choice and was one of the star performers in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Celta Vigo.

His versatility will be crucial in the latter stages of the season, and after captaining Atleti for the first time against Rayo last week, you would expect him to feature heavily with the club competing in three competitions still.

How impressed have you been with Saúl recently? What would his value be in the current market?


  • Kris

    Fuck no man!!! Never. This guy is such a hard worker. We already lost one hard worker in Raul Garcia, we don’t want to lose another.
    Whenever Saul plays, I’m assured that he will give it his absolute all. Whether it’s in defense or offense, he won’t stop running. Whatever position he plays, he’ll give all that he can. I don’t want to lose him even for 50 million euros. You don’t get players like him easily.

  • Urban

    Yeah he truly stepped in after Tiago got injured and proved himself to be Atleti class player. He is also our canterano, so he should be untouchable. He still needs some shaping and defining, but we surely need him here. I think a new contract with a new release clause would be appropriate too.

  • nitesh

    Unless it is for monetary reasons, no one will want to play under Van Hoof Gaal .Anyone having sleep disorder should watch Man Utd games rather than taking medications.

  • Chewie

    Saul is a rock star, of course he ain’t leaving.

  • Koke

    Hell no! This guy is literally everything we love about Atletico in human form. Talented yes, but also mature, humble, hardworking, loyal. He will be a mainstay for the team for as long as he’s here, which I hope will be many years, and may even captain the club one day if he continues on the path he’s on. Just a year ago he was a raw gem that was talented but had a lot to learn. Now he is far more mature and what’s scary is that he’s still just a kid with years and years to get even better.

    He deserves a starting spot now imo. In the past few games he’s been even more influential than Koke at times. Plus, he has as many goals as a CDM/CM as Jackson and Torres do combined! And his goals were all crucial.

    If we can get Saul, Koke, Oliver, Thomas, and Kranevitter all to stay for many years, we can have a world class midfield for the next 8 years. That, coupled with Oblak, Gimenez, and the wealth of young attacking talent we have means that Atleti can dominate world football for a decade as long as everyone sticks around and continues working hard. The tricky part is making sure we don’t keep losing our best players but honestly I think for the most part those days of selling are over. Besides Barca, Madrid, and Bayern, not many clubs are a step up from Atleti, and the first two are direct rivals so it would take a special type of traitor to go directly there against the club’s wishes. Yes, many EPL clubs can pay better than us but who the hell wants to go to Man U or Chelsea based on this year?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, a very bright future .
    The ages of this squad are very interesting, 11 players were born between 1981 and 1986, then there is a 5 years gap, then the other 13 players (15 if we counted Manquillo & Borja) were born after 1991, and all of them -except Lucas- are already stars -or at least very promising- with most of them are international players with big national teams and almost all of them are sought after by many big clubs .
    I think many people who aren’t Atleti fans don’t know that Gimenez was born in 1995 and won’t believe it if you told them that .

    And yes, we are not forced to sell any player anymore, our budget this year is 195 million after it was 120 million five years ago, and much less than that 10 years ago, our debt to the taxes dropped from over 200 million to 45 million, we are the 15th club in Europe with more revenue, starting from next season the collective TV rights selling will be used and according to many sources (and my own calculations after reading the rules of that deal) Atleti share will be around 100 million instead of the previous 45 million .
    We will move to a brad new stadium with 15,000 more seats, with more shops, restaurants and other facilities .
    A very bright future on the financial level as well, and to be honest, Gil Marin -who is hated by almost every single Atleti fan, especially in Spain- deserves much of the credit for that, but again, he and his father and his family were the ones who destroyed the club and held it back for many years, they were the reason of our relegation in 2000 just after 4 years of winning the double, so, fuck him !

    However, there is still one big problem that will take many years to solve :
    The Salaries .
    We can’t compete with the salaries paid by the super rich EPL clubs and Bayern, Juve, PSG and of course Madrid & Barca .
    That’s the main reason we keep loosing our big players, the “new challenge” and the “different experience” are just bullshit, Costa is not Forlan, he is not a cultured or a sophisticated person who wanted to enjoy the life in London, the museums, the restaurants and Shakespeare plays, or to enjoy the EPL or to win 5 trophies every season with Chelsea, because they can’t, he simply left to earn 8 million instead of the 3 he used to earn with Atleti .
    The riches 10 clubs in Europe are killing us with their salaries, and the financial fair play rules didn’t change a lot, and if it wasn’t for great persons like Godin, Juanfran & Koke who refused double or triple their salaries and decided to stay we would have been screwed .
    And that’s what makes me a little comfortable, of those 14 young players, 7 are canteranos like Koke, and the other 7 appear to be Godins and Juanfrans, not Costas and Ardas .