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Manchester United swoop to steal Spanish star from under City's noses – report

Saul Niguez Atletico Madrid Manchester United

Manchester United have identified Saul Niguez as a top transfer target this summer and are looking to strong-arm rivals Manchester City in the race for his signature.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been handed a good deal of influence in transfer dealings since becoming the boss on a permanent basis.

And, following the news that Ander Herrera could be leaving on a free transfer this summer – most likley to Paris Saint Germain – his top target is now Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul.

The 24-year-old Spain international was thought to be a top target for Manchester City, and many believed he was a perfect fit for Pep Guardiola's playing style, but a resurgent United may well prove more appealing.

Although the move appears to have come out of the blue, Manchester United’s scouts have in fact been watching Saul for a number of years, according to ESPNFC.

Ed Woodward et al are acutely aware of how tricky striking a deal with Atletico will be. His release clause alone stands at €150m, and the Madrid side have already sold Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich for a huge €80m.

However, United may face weakened competition from City as the latter turn their attention to Saul’s team-mate Rodri Hernandez, whose release clause sits at a much more palatable €70m. Rodri is more of a pure holding midfielder and thus is viewed by City as a natural replacement for long-term servant Fernandinho. In addition to this, the 22-year-old midfielder can also play centre-back and full-back.

Either way, it looks like Atletico have a real fight on their hands to keep key midfielders from making summer moves to Manchester.

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