Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed reports of a £136m bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, insisting he is not interested in signing the 24-year-old.
Rumours have emerged recently claiming that City were set to break their transfer record and meet Saul's release clause of around £136m. It was suggested that Guardiola had identified the Spaniard as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but the manager was quick to reject these rumours.
Speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Hoffenheim on Wednesday, Guardiola admitted that he is a fan of Saul, but insisted that he will not be making a bid for the midfielder. He is quoted by Goal as saying: "Manchester City have interest in 125 players in the last day.
"Sometimes I read 'Pep Guardiola is interested in this player'. Still I didn't know him.
"[Saul] is a fantastic player but we are not interested in him. He is an Atletico Madrid player who is going to stay there for a long time because he is an exceptional player."
Saul has been a key player for Atletico since establishing himself as a first-team player in 2014. He has made 226 appearances for the club, racking up 30 goals and 18 assists.
He has also earned 15 caps for the Spanish national team and has been a regular part of the squad since making his debut in 2016. He travelled with the squad to this summer's World Cup, but was an unused substitute during the tournament. However, he has since been a permanent feature in for Spain, even grabbing a goal during September's 2-1 victory over England.