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Ed Woodward refusing to trigger Saul Niguez release clause as Manchester United set price limit


The Red Devils will not pay over the odds for the Atletico Madrid midfielder (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United are only prepared to stump up around half Saul Niguez’s release clause, with the club reportedly unwilling to pay anywhere close to the full £132million fee Atletico Madrid are demanding.

The Red Devils have earmarked Saul as the ideal replacement for Paul Pogba should the Frenchman leave Old Trafford and are ‘increasingly confident’ of securing a deal for the Spaniard.

However, Atletico included a £132m buy-out clause in the mammoth nine-year deal he signed in 2017 and are adamant the 25-year-old will not be allowed to leave unless that clause is triggered.

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But according to Spanish newspaper AS, United chief Ed Woodward has no desire to pay that much – which would break United’s transfer record – and will not be held to ransom.

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United will not pay over £70m for Saul in the current market, an amount they feel is a fair price even though it is only around half the release clause written into his contract.

Pogba’s £89m move from Juventus to Old Trafford remains the biggest fee any club has spent on a midfielder, with Barcelona’s £65.3m deal for Frenkie de Jong the next closest.

United’s £70m valuation of Saul would exceed that fee, though Atletico have no desire to lose a player who has missed just one of the club’s 38 games in the 2019/20 season and is vital to Diego Simeone’s project.

AS also report that United bosses have been very impressed with Saul – who starred against Liverpool in the Champions League – and believes he is entering his peak years and would be perfect for English football.

Saul starred as Atletico knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand echoed those thoughts during an Instagram Live, saying of the Spanish midfielder: ‘What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now.

‘I think he’s a major player. Composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware. You can see Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.’

MORE: Rio Ferdinand approves Manchester United’s transfer move for Saul Niguez

MORE: Manchester United to pay bonus to Alexis Sanchez after Inter loan ends

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