Manchester United have been put on red alert after long-term midfield target Saul Niguez revealed he wants “a bit more money” from Atletico Madrid, although is not actively looking to leave the La Liga side.
Saul is currently in Poland starring for Spain at the European U21 Championship, and scored a hat-trick during their semi-final win over Italy.
Atletico are under a transfer ban at the moment until January, meaning they are desperate to hold on to all their key players as they are unable to replace them, as shown with Antoine Griezmann earlier this month.
Therefore Saul could well be using the transfer ban to his advantage in looking for an improved contract, given his current deal will not expire until 2021.
Barcelona are also interested in the 22-year-old and see him as another back-up option to PSG’s Marco Verratti should the deal fall through, but he has moved to insist he is still happy at Atletico as they prepare to move to their new stadium.
“I am happy at Atletico and I feel valued but everyone would like to earn a bit more money to be able to help out the family," Saul told reporters in Poland.
“I’m fine at Atletico. I don’t want to leave. It was hard to get the confidence of Cholo [Diego Simeone] and now that I have it, it would be very difficult to start from zero at another team.
“I don’t see myself outside Atletico, something very surprising would have to happen.”
Saul’s comments come after Atletico’s president ruled out selling the midfielder this summer as they continue to pursue the Champions League title that has evaded them for the last three seasons.
“Saul is a very good player and he has a long-term contract at Atletico,” Enrique Cerezo said.
“I don't think he has any agreements with other clubs, or anything like that. Saul is at Atleti, and he won't be going anywhere.”
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