Fabrizio Romano explained how Chelsea might make a late dash for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez before the transfer window ends.
Writing on Twitter, Romano claimed the Blues were ‘keeping an eye’ on Niguez, who is being heavily touted with a move to the Premier League.
The Spaniard has been linked quite tightly to Chelsea all summer, alongside several other English-heavy hitters.
Liverpool and Manchester United are also said to be circling around the 26-year-old’s shoulders to see how his situation at Atletico pans out.
It’s Saul up in the air
Niguez is contracted to the Spanish champions until 2026, but there are doubts whether he will see out his entire agreement.
He was in and out of Diego Simeone’s side last season, starting 22 out of a possible 38 La Liga fixtures.
His statistics make for pretty grim reading as well, scoring just twice and only providing one assist in 41 appearances.
This isn’t to take away from Niguez’s abilities; it just shows that his excellent Atletico career has come to a crossroads.
Chelsea are apparently in the market for a new central midfielder, following concerns over the fitness of N’Golo Kante.
Marina Granovskaia is expected to get a few more deals done before the summer shop closes, with Jules Kounde still a prime target.
Not one to miss a sweet piece of business, Granovskaia could land Niguez for as little as £35m.
This is according to Romano, who told the United Stand that €40-45m (£30-£35m) would be enough to sign the sought-after Spaniard.
It would not be the first time Chelsea have traded with Atletico.
Jose Mourinho recruited Diego Costa back in 2014, a player Niguez openly admires.
“Diego Costa is a person who has been working in the shadows for a long time and when things didn’t work for him, he kept working,” he told Marca.
“That’s something that people can never criticise him for. They can’t ever say that Diego hasn’t given everything and in football, that’s very important.”
Chelsea also loaned out Thibaut Courtois to Atletico for three years, whilst Filipe Luis was sent the other way at the same time as Costa.
Could Niguez be the next?