Chelsea and Manchester United are lining up a late swoop for star Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez. The two Premier League clubs are said to be eyeing a loan deal for the Spain international with an option to make the transfer permanent before the August 31 European transfer window deadline.
According to The Guardian, Atletico Madrid are prepared to let their academy product leave this summer. Chelsea are the favourites to land the 26-year-old having already made a loan offer, with no official bid coming so far from Manchester United, football journalist Fabrizio Romano reported.
Chelsea are also working on a deal to sign Sevilla's French centre-back Joules Kounde, while trying to offload his compatriot Kurt Zouma to West Ham.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are said to be interested in Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
Saul is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, having been a instrumental in Atletico's rise as one of European football's powerhouses. He helped the club reach the 2016 Champions League final and win the 2020-21 La Liga title.
Having risen through the Rojiblancos' academy ranks, Saul's future, however, has been in contention for a while and he could look for a new challenge after having lost his spot in Spain's Euro 2020 squad.
The move could also make sense for Chelsea, who have been looking to add depth to their midfield and have been linked with a big-money move for West Ham's Declan Rice. But having been priced out of a move for the England international, Saul makes for the perfect candidate to add competition for the likes of N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
Kante has been struggling with injuries for the last two seasons, and manager Thomas Tuchel admitted he overused Jorginho towards the end of last season.
However, Chelsea's chances of signing Saul could depend on whether they can offload fringe midfield players Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko.