90min
Chelsea Transfer

Saul Niguez's move to Chelsea breaks down over playing time concerns

By Sean Walsh
Saul will not be heading to Stamford Bridge
Saul will not be heading to Stamford Bridge / Fran Santiago/Getty Images
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Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has decided against a move to Chelsea this transfer window after he was not given assurances of regular playing time by Thomas Tuchel.

The 26-year-old has been given permission by Atletico to find another club this summer, and were willing to send him to the club of his choosing should they have agreed terms with them.

90min revealed on Thursday that Chelsea had reached an agreement with La Liga's champions, and that only a clause regarding a potential future transfer was all that was left to be ironed out.

However, the move has hit the rocks after Saul was not given assurances that he would consistently feature at Stamford Bridge.

He had also been attracting interest from Man Utd, but a move there now also looks unlikely after they reached a deal with Juventus to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool were linked with a move for the midfielder earlier in the window as a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, but there's been no movement from them recently.

Despite being shopped around for much of this window, Saul now looks set to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano and fight for his place under Diego Simeone as Atletico continue their title defence.

Chelsea, meanwhile, could switch their attentions back to Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni. They were exploring a deal as recently as last week, and could even loan him back to the Ligue 1 side for the rest of the 2021/22 season.

The Blues are still looking to free up space in Tuchel's squad, though have managed to sell Davide Zappacosta and loan out Baba Rahman this past week. Tiemoue Bakyoko is close to re-joining AC Milan on loan, while Chelsea are still looking to find a suitor for Ross Barkley.

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