Barcelona manager Valverde think this Atletico Madrid star is perfect for his system
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has reportedly made the signing of Atletico Madrid superstar Saul Niguez as his number one priority for the summer transfer window. The supremely talented 22-year-old has had a fine season for Los Rojiblancos and according to reports in Daily Star (via reports in Spain), the Blaugrana see the young Spaniard as the perfect addition to their jaded midfield.
The report goes on to say that Lionel Messi is also keen on the transfer happening, though such reports should be taken with a pinch of salt as the local media in Spain have all but made Messi the Barcelona transfer committee in many of their articles before.
However, there seems to be some truth in the La Liga giants targeting Saul as the new manager Valverde is a huge admirer of the versatile Spaniard’s talents.
The 22-year-old has been continuously linked with a move to Manchester United but the Premier League giants have apparently backed off because of the £70 million valuation. Barcelona, however, are ready to spend that amount as they are very impressed with the Atletico man’s versatility.
He has played a number of positions with equal aplomb and class for Atletico Madrid this year. Be it in a defensive midfielder position, winger or even as a playmaker, Saul has been the go-to man for Simeone whenever the going has got tough. Valverde is determined to create his own legacy at Barcelona and he sees Saul as the perfect player to be integrated into his system.
Currently one of the best players in the Atletico Madrid squad, Saul has very much found solace in the values Atletico Madrid epitomise: “Atleti is not just about the club crest, an emblem – it’s all about the club’s values: a way of living life. Humility, hard work, sacrifice, unity, the importance and strength of the team.”
Saul is one of the brightest young footballers in the world at the moment and the 22-year-old Spaniard could be groomed to become an ideal long-term successor to Andres Iniesta. However, due to Atletico’s transfer ban and Saul’s love for the club, a transfer this summer looks unlikely.