Manchester United are reportedly refusing to meet Atletico Madrid’s demands as they bid to land highly-rated midfielder Saul Niguez from the La Liga club this summer.
Niguez is on United’s radar as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba, with the Frenchman widely expected to leave Old Trafford this summer.
However, any club hoping to sign Niguez must meet an astronomical release clause of £132million, with the 25-year-old just three years into a nine-year contract at Atletico.
And United are only willing to go to £70m for the Spain international, according to reports from his homeland.
AS says United see Niguez as the ideal replacement for Pogba given he is approaching his peak years, and believe he would be a perfect fit for the Premier League.
But the Spanish publication claims the Red Devils are only willing to pay around half of the player’s release clause given the current climate, with clubs still unsure of the full financial impact of the coronavirus crisis that has brought football to a halt.
AS also reports that Niguez is in talks with Atletico over improving his contract – so United and a host of other suitors will be keeping a close eye on any developments.
United legend Rio Ferdinand reckons Niguez would be an ideal signing for his former club if Pogba does leave this summer.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Ferdinand said: “I don’t want Pogba to go but if he does go I’d take Saul Niguez all day long. Not like-for-like but still a top player.
“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 team really well set up and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”