Chelsea retain hopes of signing Atlético Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez with the chances of a move to Barcelona seemingly lessening, according to reports.
The 26-year-old has expressed his desire to leave the La Liga champions this summer, after making just 22 league appearances last term.
In recent weeks, Saúl has been linked with a swap deal with Barcelona that would see Antoine Griezmann head the other way, with the latter happy to return to his former employers, with whom the France international won the La Liga title in 2014.
However, a possible exchange deal with the Blaugrana in the summer is 'getting cold', with there being suggestions that Griezmann isn't content with acting as makeweight in negotiations, as reported by Spanish journalist Matteo Moretto.
Chelsea and Liverpool are among several clubs across Europe who have vested their interest in the Saúl, who joined Diego Simeone's side from Rayo Vallecano in 2014.
Saul, whose current contract at the Wanda Metropolitano runs till 2026, has also been targeted by Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG, all of whom are aiming to bolster their midfielder options ahead of next season.
After sealing Champions League glory, it has been claimed that Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is set to be backed by club owner Roman Abramovich in the transfer market, with the west London outfit ready to mount a title challenge under the German manager.
A report from Spain previously suggested that Chelsea have 'already asked' about Saul's availability this summer.
It is believed that at Atlético Madrid would let their man leave if an offer in the region of €80 million presents itself. However, given the financial climate of the post-pandemic market, there are a few select clubs that can match that price.
What Thomas Tuchel has said on summer acquisitions
“Two or three (signings) could be very, very good. It’s a constant thing to never deny change; that you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.
"We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving, because we have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from them the chance to prove it again, that they are capable of growing and evolving. But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger, and I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us."