Manchester City were reportedly offered the chance to sign Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid in the transfer window and he could’ve been a great addition to Pep Guardiola’s side.
According to the Daily Star, Atletico Madrid were keen to sign Bernardo Silva from the Citizens and offered Saul, as well as cash, to City in the hopes of signing him, but the deal was rejected by Guardiola.
The Spain international would instead complete a loan move to Chelsea, with the west London side holding an option to buy the midfielder for £30m should he impress during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Given that Bernardo Silva has struggled at times in the past two seasons and reportedly wanted to leave the Etihad this summer, it is perhaps a surprise that Guardiola rejected this deal, as Saul certainly would’ve been an impressive replacement for the former Monaco man.
Despite being just 26, Saul has already made 340 appearances for Atletico Madrid’s first team, in which he has contributed 43 goals and 20 assists, predominantly from a central midfield position.
Although his performances dropped somewhat last season, the midfielder has been extremely consistent in La Liga in recent seasons, averaging above a 7/10 rating from WhoScored the between 2015/16 and 2019/20 seasons.
Despite his stylishness on the ball and obvious passing ability, WhoScored lists some of his main strengths as tackling, concentration and aerial duels, so he could’ve offered something similar to the likes of Rodri and Fernandinho in Guardiola’s side, which surely would’ve been appreciated by the Spanish manager.
Gary Neville was full of praise for Saul after he joined Chelsea, saying:
“Saul is just another excellent player. He’s got massive experience at the top of La Liga, massive experience in the Champions League and at international level.”
Therefore, it seems strange that City rejected this deal as it would’ve made a lot of sense, and they may well end up regretting it if Saul becomes a success with Thomas Tuchel’s side.
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