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Manchester United, Chelsea ‘on alert’ as Atlético Madrid put Saúl Ñíguez in the shop window at £40m OFF

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Still £85m, but think of the savings!

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Club Atletico de Madrid v CA Osasuna - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Saúl Ñíguez scored his second goal of the season to help Atlético Madrid to just their second La Liga win in almost two months, and the Atléti-lifer’s reward for that effort has been to get shopped around at £40m off his buyout fee. Of course, when your buyout clause is set at £125m, that’s still a hefty chunk of change, but the timing is fairly amusing.

There aren’t many teams who could afford (and even fewer that should consider) an £85m versatile, all-action midfielder, but Manchester United are now “on alert”, according to the Telegraph, who add that Chelsea have been following the 25-year-old’s progress as well, so presumably we’re alerted just as well. Whether we’re actually “on alert” is less likely, but the Ross Barkley experiment has not worked out and we could use one more quality midfielder to help with the rotation. It’s not a priority, but it’s £40m off! Who can resist a sale, especially with Christmas coming up!?

Ñíguez signed an outrageous 9-year contract in 2017 with “his family” — apparently that’s legal in Spain nowadays, superseding FIFA’s usual 5-year limit — so he’s got some ways to go in that yet (2026, to be exact). But for whatever reason Atléti are apparently considering letting their key family member player go after nearly 300 senior games for the club already. Again, he’s just turned 25.

So this rumor doesn’t make much sense for any of the names involved in it, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.