Liverpool have suffered a potentially huge blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez after Barcelona reportedly entered the race for his signature.
What’s the story?
The report also claims that negotiations have now taken a break between Liverpool’s hierarchy and Atleti after La Liga giants Barca began negotiations for Saul.
Klopp will be gutted
Jurgen Klopp is thought to be in the market for a new dynamic midfielder this summer after Gini Wijnaldum’s decision to join Paris Saint-Germain left a significant gap in the club’s engine room.
After struggling for game time last season, the Spain international is keen to seek pastures new ahead of the upcoming campaign, and Atleti are happy to sell.
Saul’s indifferent form last season saw Luis Enrique leave him out of his 24-man squad for Euro 2020, but the technically gifted midfielder has won plenty of plaudits for his impressive displays in the past.
“What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now. I think he’s a major player. He’s composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware,” said Rio Ferdinand.
“You can see (Diego) Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up, and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”
Therefore, news that Liverpool face stiff competition from one of the world’s biggest clubs for Saul will surely leave Klopp feeling gutted.
Ibrahima Konate has already arrived on Merseyside to strengthen the first-team squad, but if the Anfield outfit are to stand a chance of regaining their Premier League crown next season, then further additions will also be required.
Adding Saul would be seen as a major coup by the Liverpool hierarchy and fans alike, and they’ll surely be hoping this latest development doesn’t prevent them from securing their man.