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Chelsea, Atlético Madrid ‘breakthrough’ €5m agreement for Saúl Ñíguez — reports

It’s happening?

Club Atletico de Madrid v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Looks like Chelsea will be able to add some much-needed midfield strength to the squad on this deadline day.

According to the Daily Mail, and an increasing number of other outlets, the Blues have found a breakthrough in our pursuit of Saúl Ñíguez, and have agreed a loan deal with Atlético Madrid.

UPDATE: Fabrizio Romano adds his “here we go”, specifying a €5m loan fee.

Despite Atlético Madrid’s reservations about a last-minute deal, we have apparently managed to convince them otherwise, and have done so without bowing to anything more serious than a buy-option demand. Atléti were said to prefer a transfer or a buy-obligation, but it looks our commitment won’t be that significant.

UPDATE: The buy-option is €35m, as per Sky Sports.

If true, this could be a very similar deal that we made with Real Madrid in 2018, when we signed Mateo Kovačić on loan and exercised a buy-option twelve months later. Whether Saúl would work out as excellently as that has remains to be seen, but he should add some important and useful depth behind Kanté, Jorginho, and Kova himself.

We have a little over five hours to get things signed and submitted to the relevant authorities. Plenty of time!