Chelsea have received a transfer boost in their pursuit of Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez, after his parent club Atletico Madrid confirmed the signing of Rodrigo De Paul.
Niguez is set on leaving the Spanish champions this summer with his lack of playing time last season the main reason why the midfielder is seeking an exit from the Wanda Metropolitano.
The 26-year-old featured in 41 games for Madrid club in all competitions last term, with a sizeable proportion of those appearances coming as a substitute.
A desire to leave was born out of frustration in a game against Getafe, when Niguez was substituted at half time of the 0-0 draw in March.
Another moment which made up his mind came on the away trip to the Nou Camp where, after coming on for the injured Thomas Lemar in the 13th minute, was hooked off in the second half.
The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked to a swoop for the midfielder, and this is looking more likely after Atletico’s latest signing.
Diego Simeone’s side have confirmed the acquisition of Argentina and Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul for a fee of around £30million. De Paul, 27, has signed a five-year contract with the La Liga champions.
The midfielder’s move comes just days after he helped Argentina win the Copa America and represents the first major piece of business from Atletico this summer.
“I’m very happy, I’m going to join [the] champions and I’m conscious of the responsibility it carries,” De Paul stated in his first official words as a player of the club. “It is a big step in my football career.
“Because of my experience in Spanish football, I know very well Atlético de Madrid, without counting with all the friends and colleagues I have playing in Spain.
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity of working under (Diego) Simeone. I love football, it’s part of my daily life, and having a manager [like him] is a privilege.”
De Paul’s introduction to the Atletico Madrid’s squad has now pushed Niguez further down the pecking order, meaning the need for a transfer out of Spain this summer is even greater for the playmaker.
The Blues are looking to sign another midfielder after Billy Gilmour left on loan to join fellow Premier League club Norwich City for the upcoming 2021/22 season.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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Transfermarkt values the Spanish midfielder at £36million, meaning this a very affordable transfer for Thomas Tuchel’s side as they look to build upon the Champions League success of last season.
Niguez did start in both the round of 16 ties last season against Chelsea in the Champions League, therefore the German boss will know a good amount about the quality the midfielder possesses if he was to move to the Premier League this summer.