Manchester United were recently rumoured to have encountered problems in their attempts to land Lazio star Felipe Anderson and now it appears that they have been rebuffed by Atletico Madrid after bidding for Saul Niguez as well.

Speculation regarding possible interest in the 21-year-old from the Old Trafford club emerged this week. When asked about the reliability of such a claim on Twitter, respected Spanish football expert Guillem Balague confirmed that there is in fact substance to it.

However, he also highlighted that while United offered €20m for Saul, Atletico are not looking to sell and therefore a deal at this time seems highly unlikely.

Whether or not an improved bid, either now or in the summer, might tempt the 2014 La Liga champions into letting the former Real Madrid academy player go remains to be seen.

United were one of several Premier League teams heavily linked with fellow Atletico player Koke not so long ago and Saul offers similar promise.

A versatile midfielder capable of playing centrally or either side of the pitch, the Spain Under-21 international has featured on a semi regular basis in domestic and European games this season. He's started nine times in La Liga, as well as four times in the Champions League group stage.


Louis van Gaal's United already have plenty of central midfield option, but the interest in Saul would perhaps suggest that there is some truth to the stories about a possible exit for Marouane Fellaini if the right offer comes in. After a disappointing few months, Ander Herrera may also not be entirely safe.

One midfield player who won't be involved in United's next game against Newcastle is Bastian Schweinsteiger after he picked up an injury against Sheffield United in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Manchester United v Sheffield United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

The German World Cup winner appeared to jar his knee in a 50/50 challenge late in the game. He looked in severe discomfort at the time, although he ultimately returned to the pitch to finish the cup tie.

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