Saul reveals why he answered Chelsea’s call; Man United focused on Haaland deal next season
Niguez – whose loan will cost Chelsea all of €5m (S$8m), with an option to make the move permanent for €35m next summer – is arguably a luxury signing for Chelsea, who already have Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount who can play in the middle of the park.
WATCH: Saul Niguez scores a long-range goal in training
Niguez, however, had previously expressed his desire to play further forward in midfield – something that he was not allowed to do at Atletico Madrid under their manager cum drill sergeant Diego Simeone, whose natural instinct is to dull the attacking intent of every player so that they can focus on becoming tough and mean b*stards on the pitch.
And the Spanish international revealed that Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has promised to deploy him further up the pitch, which was a key factor in his decision to sign for the Stamford Bridge outfit despite enjoying success at Atletico.
Niguez, who scored 53 goals in 447 appearances for Atletico, said: “I have been playing in different positions for three seasons. I owe everything to Diego, but he must be selfish and think of the group. I've been here since I was 13 and it's very hard. But I want to take up other movements and positions that I did not perform (at Atletico).
“So, I saw myself stuck in a position that was not mine. Chelsea's option was to get out of the comfort zone, a challenge. Chelsea has promised me to train and play me in my position, but we will see.”
WATCH: Saul scores a brilliant volley in training
Meanwhile, the transfer window may have just slammed shut, but Manchester United are already greedily eyeing their next target – Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
It doesn’t matter that they already have no less than five players who can play up front, including youngsters Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial, as well as senior citizens Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.
Haaland, of course, has long been a target of United’s neighbours Manchester City. But, following the departure of United’s chief executive Ed Woodward, the Red Devils have seemingly embarked on a transfer policy of signing whoever City are even remotely interested in – a strategy that saw them end up with Ronaldo.
WATCH: Haaland's rise to superstardom
United, however, will also face stiff competition for Haaland’s signature from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, and Dortmund’s parent club, Bayern Munich. Haaland’s release clause at the end of the season is reportedly set at €75 million – a mere pittance compared to the obscene figures being quoted for other world class players.