Liverpool and Everton £19.5m target wins top award in Spain

Liverpool and Everton linked star Saul Niguez has won the Player of the Year award at La Liga side Rayo Vallecano.

19-year-old midfielder Saul Niguez has had a season to remember on loan at Rayo Vallecano from fellow Madrid-based side Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish U21 international joined the small La Liga out Rayo Vallencano last July on a season-long loan deal as Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone wanted the youngster to grab valuable first-team football.

It was a decision which proved to be a valuable experience as Saul Niguez notched up 34 starts for the club, playing in both defence and midfield on numerous occasions.

His performances have been impressive throughout the season, and they have been noticed by everyone at his club as according to the Spanish newspaper AS, the Everton and Liverpool linked star won Rayo’s newly-formed Player of the Year award.

“To be my first season at Rayo and my first in La Liga, I’m very proud to win this trophy. Besides, receiving this prize with the name of Michel [Michel I de Vellecas] is very beautiful, as he has helped me grow as a player and a person throughout the season.” Saul Niguez explained after receiving the award.

The exciting youngster is expected to head back to Atletico Madrid this summer, though Merseyside duo Everton and Liverpool are said to be interested in the star.

Following the expected departure of Manchester City loanee Gareth Barry, Everton boss Roberto Martinez is keen on boosting his midfield options and is reportedly interested in a loan deal for Niguez.

The Toffees, however, face competition from Merseyside rivals Liverpool as boss Brendan Rodgers has allegedly identified the player as the perfect option to cover his defensive midfield shortage.

The Reds are said to have already held preliminary talks with the player’s father, and the Anfield outfit may not be put off with the player’s £19.5m release clause inserted into his contract.

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