'Keen': Romano claims Chelsea will pursue player with £128m release clause if he doesn't move this summer

Fabrizio Romano stated on Twitter that Chelsea would be interested in pursuing Saul Niguez if his reported move to Barcelona falls through.

Niguez is set to be involved in a sensational swap deal with Antoine Griezmann, as the former trades Atletico Madrid for their Spanish rivals.

Griezmann will go the other way, back to the club he left two years ago in a staggering £107m (BBC) transfer.

Interestingly, both were teammates at Atletico before the Frenchman moved across the country.

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Due to Barca’s precarious financial situation, they’ve had to take drastic action in order to sort out their books.

Lionel Messi has apparently already taken a 50% pay-cut just to remain at the Camp Nou.

This latest deal involving Griezmann helps chop their budget even more, with the forward earning over £300,000-per-week (Daily Mail).

Good for the Saul

Whilst Niguez won’t simply be a freebie, he will cost considerably less in terms of wages.

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However, with the deal not yet finalised, there is still hope for the Spaniard’s potential suitors.

Including Chelsea, who have been linked to the silky midfielder in the past.

The 26-year-old has been with Atletico since 2008 and was in and around some of the most successful teams of the past decade.

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His value shot up as the seasons went by, so much so Atletico placed a €150m (£128m) release clause in his contract.

However, Niguez fell out of favour with Diego Simeone in the previous term and an exit this summer always looked likely.

Chelsea could be dealt a double blow if this La Liga exchange goes through because they have also seemingly had Griezmann on their radar.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.