Manchester United Open Talks With Liverpool, Barca's $59M Target For Pogba's Replacement

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Six of the best: Paul Pogba (left)scored in Manchester United's 6-2 win over Roma
Six of the best: Paul Pogba (left)scored in Manchester United's 6-2 win over Roma AFP / Paul ELLIS

Manchester United have reportedly opened talks with the agents of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez in the 2021 summer transfer window.

The Red Devils are seeing Niguez as a replacement for Paul Pogba, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, who has a credible record in European transfer markets. International Business Times, however, could not verify it independently. Niguez is also a top target of Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona.

"Manchester United are among the clubs that have been in contact with Saul Niguez’s agent. They have an interest in the player and consider him ‘one of the biggest opportunities on the market'. €40m-45m [$47m-53m] will get a deal done, no bid yet," Romano told The United Stand, a verified news channel on YouTube.

After securing Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund recently, Manchester United have been linked with various central midfielders, including Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga, Atletico's Niguez and West Ham’s Declan Rice.

The Old Trafford side are considering Niguez, among the said names, as an ideal replacement for Pogba, who could leave the club this summer, according to sports media outlet talkSport.

Pogba, who returned to Manchester United from Juventus in 2016, has had a frustrating second stint at his boyhood club. With just one year left in his current deal with the Red Devils, Pogba will be free to negotiate with other clubs in January. It was recently reported that his agent Mino Raiola has offered the midfielder to Manchester United's arch-rivals Liverpool. However, the Anfield club has informed Raiola that signing Pogba right now is out of the question but they will be interested in January when the player could be signed on a free transfer.

In the current market, Liverpool are on the lookout for Gini Wijnaldum's replacement after the Dutchman left the club on a free transfer and joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ahead of the 2021-22 season.

It was earlier reported that Liverpool made a bid of $47 million for Niguez but Atletico Madrid rejected it and instead demanded the Reds pay at least $59 million for the 26-year-old player.

Niguez has also been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. The Camp Nou side had attempted to sign Niguez in a swap deal that would see Antoine Griezmann return to Atletico Madrid this summer. But the talks over that deal broke down when the Blaugrana demanded a fee from the La Liga champions as well, according to soccer website 90Min.


Saúl Ñíguez
Saúl Ñíguez celebrates with his teammates after giving Atlético Madrid the lead against Bayern Munich.
Photo: Getty Images

Niguez was a part of the Atletico Madrid side that won the La Liga title in the 2020-21 season, their first league trophy since 2014.

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