Atletico adamant on €24m Liverpool, United target to replace Chelsea 'signing'

Vicente Calderon

Atletico Madrid want to keep Saul Niguez, a midfielder linked with Liverpool and Manchester United who would replace Tiago, said to be Chelsea bound.

Atletico Madrid are bracing themselves for several stars to move on next summer, but have a ready made supply line of talent at the ready.

One such star is Saul Niguez, a Spanish under-21 midfielder who has attracted admiring attention from sides across the Premier League in the past season.

Niguez, 19, has been on loan at Rayo Vallecano all season, with Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Arsenal earlier this season.

The defensive midfielder signed a new contract mid-season at Atletico taking him up to 2018 with a release clause of €24 million.

After a successful campaign at Rayo, during which he made 34 appearances, scoring twice, his performances have reportedly convinced Atletico boss Diego Simeone to bring him into the first team fold.

Spanish newspaper AS report that Niguez is the only loanee Simeone is fully convinced about, and he has even superseded last summer's €10 million flop Josuha Guilavogui who was loaned back to St. Etienne after failing to adapt.

An ideal spot may be opening up for him too, with Tiago Mendes telling the club he does not intend to renew his deal, and become a free agent this summer

Marca report that Tiago has even 'signed' a pre-agreement to return to Chelsea for next season, and if that's the case, a younger replacement is already primed to take his spot.

Which means in a year's time, when Niguez has hopefully proven himself as a success at Champions League level with Atletico, his €24 million release clause may just look very, very tempting for Liverpool and Manchester United.

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