Diego Simeone admits Saul Niguez ‘wants to feel more important’ and is unhappy ‘playing everywhere’ for Atletico Madrid…
- Saul Niguez’s 13-year spell at Atlético Madrid could end soon
- Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool are interested in the midfielder
- Diego Simeone insists Saul is still a crucial player for Atletico
- But he admitted the 26-year-old is unhappy in his current role for the club
Diego Simeone has insisted that Saul Niguez is still an integral part of Atletico Madrid, but has accepted that the midfielder is unhappy in his current role.
The Spain international is a target for Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool this summer, having spent more than a decade with Atlético.
Simeone spoke of how Saul, who could leave for £34 million, has become disillusioned with his role on the team as a utility player.
Diego Simeone (left) understands that Saul Niguez is not satisfied with his utility role
He told AS“Last season he (Saul) spoke with the club, with us about his needs and about the possibility of getting a place on the pitch where he feels more important.
“And I consider that Saul became Saul by playing everywhere, he or many of those around him see it as something negative.
“He is very important for Atletico because he can play as a fullback, right winger, midfielder and double midfielder. He gives us many situations to count on him. He is a player who performs very well in that version and playing what the coach needs.’
The Argentine manager continued: “We can’t put the rumors and rumours aside.
Saul is a target for Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United and could leave this summer
Simeone says that if Saul leaves, he will do so with the best wishes of the team
‘If he has to go out, a big hug, wish him the best with the boys who gave us life and to remain friends, as always. Either to Barcelona or elsewhere.’
Versatility is one of Saul’s strengths, but seems to have worked against him as he wants a specific, defined role and is willing to go away to achieve it.
Barcelona were interested in a return swap deal for Antoine Griezmann, but the odds of making it happen seem slim as the Frenchman would have to face a pay cut.
Liverpool are looking to replace Georginio Wijnaldum but need the sale of fringe players before they can make a move, while United have long been interested in Saul.
The 26-year-old is one of the top earners on the team and they could cut the wage bill
He was regularly watched by Old Trafford scouts as a teenager and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keeping a close eye on the situation.
Saul currently earns £300,000 a week and Atletico are not averse to taking his huge pay off the books despite his contribution to the team.
His agent confirmed that Liverpool and United have been in touch and the arrival of Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese has moved him further up the pecking order.