Liverpool in strong position as €50m swoop ‘increasingly close’ – second summer signing could finally happen

Saul’s move from Atletico Madrid is increasingly close and Liverpool are in a strong position to sign him, according to reputable Spanish outlet Sport.

They claim that Liverpool and Manchester United are the running favourites to sign him and now say that his departure from the capital is ‘increasingly close’.

What this means exactly is unclear but with the clock on the transfer window running down, it is obvious that the Spaniard needs to sort his future out sooner rather than later.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Saúl Ñíguez of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Chelsea FC and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Saúl Ñíguez of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Chelsea FC and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

While Saul has a €150million (£128m) release clause in his Atleti contract, the La Liga outfit is prepared to accept a huge loss and sell him for €50m (£43m).

Signing the 26-year-old ahead of Manchester United would be fantastic and not just because of bragging rights – they have already had a scary transfer window.

Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane have already been confirmed as United players and adding a world-class no.8 with a proven track record in Europe would be worrying for Liverpool fans.

Closer to home, however, Jurgen Klopp will be more concerned with replacing Georginio Wijnaldum, who the Athletic claims was a player the German was desperate to keep.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on October 02, 2020 in Liverpool, England.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 02: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool with Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on October 02, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

If Liverpool fail to replace Wijnaldum, who made the most appearances in his time at Anfield, both Klopp and FSG will need to answer questions pertaining to negligence.

After we saw what happened when Liverpool failed to replace Dejan Lovren, a player widely considered to be relatively unimportant, I can only imagine what would happen if we failed to replace Wijnaldum, a key cog in the machine that won the Champions League, the Premier League while also picking up minor pieces like the Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Adding Saul or another suitably talented, industrious and experienced midfielder is not just important – it’s imperative.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06: Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League between Club Atletico de Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on November 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 06: Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League between Club Atletico de Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on November 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have shown glimpses of what they can achieve when fully fit but there’s no telling if they can maintain that fitness for 30+ league games.

If they can’t Klopp will find himself in a position where he will be competing with the Manchester money and Thomas Tuchel’s tireless Chelsea side without the tools required.

And FSG will not be able to say they didn’t have 21/22 as a season to learn from or this summer to prepare for.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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