Atletico Madrid 'reject £35m Liverpool bid' for Saul Niguez

Tom Gott
Liverpool are interested in Saul Niguez
Liverpool are interested in Saul Niguez / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Liverpool have seen a £35m bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez knocked back.

It was revealed last week that Jurgen Klopp had set his sights on Saul as a possible replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who left on a free transfer to join Paris Saint-Germain, with the Reds keen to pay around £35m to sign the 26-year-old.

Saul Niguez
Saul is on Liverpool's radar / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Well, according to Mundo Deportivo, they're going to have to offer a little more as Atletico have turned their noses up at the £35m bid.

It's suggested that Liverpool aren't particularly worried about that and half-expected to be shot down anyway, but negotiations are underway with Atletico over finding a compromise over their asking price, which sits at closer to £45m.

If Liverpool increase their bid, Atletico are ready to accept and grant Saul his wish of a departure, but there is a significant problem for Klopp's side here, and that's Barcelona.

Barcelona have been chasing Saul for years and believe this summer is their best chance to finally sign him. They have proposed a swap deal which would bring Saul to Camp Nou in exchange for Atleti favourite Antoine Griezmann - a proposal which interests everyone involved.

Having said that, earlier reports have suggested that Barcelona would prefer to send Griezmann overseas, where Chelsea have been linked with a loan move, as they do not want to strengthen a direct rival... again.

Diego Simeone and those in charge of Atletico are understood to be desperate to get a Saul-Griezmann swap over the line, and both players have also made it clear that they would be interested in swapping places.

Antoine Griezmann
Saul's future is tied to Griezmann / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Liverpool are clearly facing an uphill battle in their pursuit of Saul, but a move to Barcelona is by no means a certainty for the Spain international because Atleti are scrambling to find the space in the wage budget needed to take Griezmann on.

Having just splashed out over £30m on midfielder Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese, there is even less wiggle room than there was initially, so club officials are exploring ways to free up the money needed to sign Griezmann.