Manchester City and Manchester United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Saul Niguez, as Barcelona have decided not to sign the defensive midfielder, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalans agreed a £15million deal in October to have first option on Niguez among several other Atletico players, allowing them to match bids from other clubs.
However, with increasing concern over Barcelona’s finances during the suspension in football due to coronavirus, it seems they will not be opting to purchase the Spaniard.
Barcelona have declined to use their option to buy Saul Niguez in summer according to reports
Manchester United are interested, and are prepared to offer him a huge wage increase
Both City and United have registered their interest, however Atletico are reportedly unwilling to accept anything less than his £135million buyout clause this summer.
Players have seen their value drop dramatically during the period of financial uncertainty, but Atleti are apparently going to be holding out for the maximum amount.
They have no incentive to sell either, as Niguez signed a huge contract extension in 2017, keeping him at the club until 2026.
A Paul Pogba departure for a high price would go a long way towards being able to afford the 25-year-old.
Atletico Madrid want his £135million buyout clause which a Paul Pogba sale would help pay for
Manchester City are also interested in Niguez, with David Silva set to leave in the summer
United sent scouts to watch Saul as he helped his side knockout Liverpool in the Champions League last month but he has been on the club’s radar for a while.
Reports earlier in the month said they were willing to offer the highly rated star £85,000-a-week more than he gets now, increasing his pay packet to £200,000 per week.
Manchester City have also been linked with Saul, with David Silva set to leave the Etihad when the current campaign comes to an end.
The midfielder has scored four times in 37 appearances for Atletico this season, including the only goal in the home-leg victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side.