Man United transfer news: "Decisive step" taken to beat Liverpool to La Liga winner

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According to journalist Francesc Aguilar, Manchester United have taken a decisive step in signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez this summer and are ahead of Liverpool in the race for his signature.

Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Liverpool consider Saul to be a potential opportunity this summer as the midfielder is ready to depart Atletico.

Speaking on the Here We Go Podcast, Romano said, "They will sign a midfielder only when they have an opportunity.

“They [Liverpool] consider Saul a potential opportunity because he is prepared to leave Atletico Madrid after they signed De Paul. If they have the opportunity to sell Saul they are open. Let’s see also what happens with Barcelona.”

However, it now appears that Liverpool's most fierce rivals have edged ahead of them in the transfer hunt for Saul.

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What has Francesc Aguilar said about Saul’s future?

Aguilar claims that Jonathan Barnett, Saul's agent, is in negotiations with Man United this summer ahead of a proposed switch to Old Trafford. The Red Devils have reportedly taken a decisive step towards signing the Spaniard.

The journalist suggests that the Manchester outfit have leapfrogged Liverpool in the race to sign the 6 ft midfielder, despite the Reds previously looking like one of the more interested Premier League sides in the player along with Chelsea.

How did Saul compare to United’s midfielders last season?

Despite not featuring consistently in the starting XI for Atletico boss Diego Simeone last term, Saul proved to be an effective presence in the midfield, showcasing his all-round ability in the middle of the park.

According to WhoScored, Saul made 1.7 tackles per game in La Liga last season - more than any player in United's squad other than Fred.

The Spaniard also had a pass completion of 84.4% in Spain's top flight last term, a return higher than what both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes achieved in the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.

Saul's well-balanced nature would make him a strong addition to United's midfield roster if he were to join the club next season.

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Could Saul’s move hinge on Pogba’s future?

Possibly yes.

As reported by The Athletic earlier this month, United want to extend Pogba’s stay at the Man United this summer. However, the 28-year-old is reportedly waiting to see what the Red Devils offer him, to assess whether there could be better options elsewhere.

The World Cup winner has entered the final year of his contract with the Manchester outfit, which is set to expire in June 2023 when he will be allowed to join other clubs for free.

Saul plays a relatively similar role to Pogba in the middle of the park. Therefore, it could well be a case of the Atletico midfielder coming in to directly replace a departing Pogba.

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