Manchester United have reportedly identified Atletico Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez as a summer transfer target.
Ñíguez is said to have a €150m (£137m) release clause and the report suggests both Manchester clubs have the economic power to make a transfer possible.
He has reportedly been in talks with Atletico to extend his stay in Madrid, but negotiations have stalled and there is a recognition amongst both parties that there is a long way to go before reaching an agreement.
This opens up the possibility of a potential move to the Premier League, but it is unclear how keen the player would be on a move to England.
We have seen on countless occasions players using a club the size of United to help accelerate contract negotiations at their current club.
But a potential move for Ñíguez, who starred as Atletico knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League, should not be entirely dismissed.
The 25-year-old’s name has cropped up several times in association with United in previous years and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield would no doubt be enhanced with a player of his class dictating play alongside Bruno Fernandes.
A ball playing midfielder, Ñíguez would complement the likes of Bruno and Fred well in an attacking 4-3-3 setup.
But the release clause attached to the player is likely to be deemed too excessive by the club given the need to use funds in other areas.
United need to focus on strengthening in attack and Jadon Sancho, who would also cost upwards of £100m, would provide balance and star-quality on the right-wing.
We feel Ñíguez would only be a realistic option as a replacement for Paul Pogba if the Frenchman was sold this summer.
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