Arsenal have inquired about the situation of Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, according to a report in the AS.
The Gunners have been forced to imagine life without Jack Wilshere lately as his contract is set to expire this summer and the negotiations for a new deal aren’t showing any signs of progress. Even Aaron Ramsey has been mentioned as a player that might choose to leave.
Arsenal’s recent transfer experiences yielded different results, but they were mostly positive. Alexis Sanchez couldn’t be persuaded to stay, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have arrived to plug the hole, while Mesut Özil signed a new contract recently. Last summer saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave and Alexandre Lacazette arrive. Manager Arsene Wenger recently said that the attacking section of the squad doesn’t need altering and that transfer priorities lie elsewhere.
The defence has occasionally looked dreadful this season, but the situation with central midfielders won’t be far behind in the order of priorities, should the likes of Wilshere and Ramsey leave. While Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny do an important job in the middle of the park, they can hardly be counted on in terms of creativity.
A player like Saul would go a long way in providing that spark. An intelligent footballer, a nimble dribbler, an excellent passer and scorer of some spectacular goals, the 23-year-old Spanish international would tick the right boxes without a doubt. He’s also versatile in terms of his role in midfield, able to perform both as the deep sitting defensive midfielder and a box-to-box engine.
The main issue however is the likelihood of such a transfer happening. Saul has an incredible period of eight years remaining of his current deal with Atletico, and a reported release clause of €150 million which is something Arsenal have never paid for a player. Apart from that, he is somewhat of a “hot property”, as Arsenal are only the latest of the long list of clubs that have expressed an interest in him.