By 90Min
February 24, 2019

Barcelona have identified Saul Niguez as a 'galactico' transfer target and would be prepared to pay €110m to sign the Atletico Madrid midfielder.

The Catalans are ramping up their efforts to strengthen their ranks ahead of the summer transfer window, having already tied up a blockbuster deal for Ajax sensation Frenkie de Jong ahead of next season, but could apparently splash the cash once more on another big-name signing.

According to Spanish publication AS, the La Liga champions have lined up a huge move to lure Saul from title rivals Atletico in the summer, as Barcelona aim to recruit new 'galacticos' to once again become the dominant force on the continent.

It is suggested that the Blaugrana have 'progressed' in their efforts to sign Saul, and would be willing to stump up a €110m fee to complete the deal - making the midfielder the most expensive Spanish footballer of all time.

The report notes that Saul has come close to joining Barcelona in the past, as a deal was apparently close to being done in 2017, before Atletico managed to convince the 24-year-old to sign a new contract until 2026 and stay put in the Spanish capital.

That contract extension apparently saw the midfielder's release clause increased from €80m to its current standing at €150m - a sum which no longer appears overly extortionate in the current transfer climate.

Saul's potential arrival alongside Frenkie de Jong would seemingly spell a midfield overhaul at the Camp Nou, with the future of Ivan Rakitic consistently called into question amid links with a potential move to Inter for the Croatian.

Meanwhile, it is suggested that Chelsea also hold an interest in signing Saul, and Atletico would prefer to do business with a non-domestic rival.

However, the Blues' recently confirmed transfer ban seemingly makes a move to Stamford Bridge appear far less likely, though Premier League rivals Manchester City have also been linked with a move for the Spain international.

It is suggested that Saul would be keen to stay put with Diego Simeone's side, though there are apparent discrepancies over the midfielder's wages not matching his value to the club, given the recent pay rise handed to teammate Antoine Griezmann as part of his new contract.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Should Saul move on, Barcelona would apparently be his favoured destination, given the Spaniard's desire to continue playing in his homeland. 

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