Former €24m Liverpool target tipped for cheap exit - should Reds make a move?

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool last season.

According to a number of reports, Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has been tipped to leave the Spanish capital after failing to win a first-team spot.

The youngster was previously heavily linked with a move to Liverpool while playing on loan at La Liga side Rayo Vallecano last season.

Reports even went as far as saying the Reds held a meeting with the player’s father Jose Antonio over a future deal a year ago, but a proposed January transfer never materialised.

Soon after, reported interest had all but ended as Niguez signed a new four-year deal at the Vicente Calderon stadium with a whopping €24 million release clause inserted.

It was a message from Los Colchoneros, one which told any potential suitor that they must stump up big if they wish to prise away the club’s talented youngsters.

After returning from his loan spell, big things were expected of the defensive midfielder but this season he has barely featured, making just three La Liga starts.

Alongside Mario Suarez and Cristian Rodriguez, Spanish publication Marca suggest that a January deal away from Atleti could be in the offering for Niguez and the club would look for a more reasonable price.

With the Merseysiders short on midfield options and Steven Gerrard signalling his intent on leaving in the summer, manager Brendan Rodgers may not have a bigger incentive than to go back in for his former target now.

Naturally a ball-playing defensive midfielder, Niguez is a tough-tackler who possesses an excellent passing range and has in the past been likened to former Kop idol Xabi Alonso.

At just 20 years of age, he has a bright future ahead of him and any suitor will certainly benefit from giving the player a prolonged run in the first-team.

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