Liverpool ‘make opening Saul offer’ as Reds propose swap deal for Atletico star

Liverpool have reportedly made an opening offer for Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez as Jurgen Klopp looks to further strengthen his squad ahead of the new season.

And it is believed that he could be willing to let either Xherdan Shaqiri or Jordan Henderson move the other way in order to land the Spaniard.

Saul has developed a reputation as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world in recent years, but struggled for form in the 2020-21 campaign despite Atletico’s La Liga glory.

Initially it looked as though he may be involved in a swap deal with Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann, but that now appears to have fallen through, meaning that he is up for grabs on the market again.

Liverpool are believed to be highly interested in Saul
Liverpool are believed to be highly interested in Saul
(Image: Getty Images)

And according to Spanish outlet Diario Sport the Reds have made the first move with a bid of €40m (£34.5) plus one of the two players previously mentioned.

Shaqiri has struggled to nail down a spot in the first-team ever since joining Liverpool from Stoke in 2018, and it is thought the club are happy to let him leave this summer.

Henderson, meanwhile, is said to have been left disappointed after contract talks broke down, and although it would not be popular with supporters there is a genuine chance that he could depart before the start of the new campaign.

It remains to be seen how Atletico respond to the offer, but given that Saul has a lucrative contract which does not expire until 2026 they may well feel confident of negotiating a higher price.

Saul has also been linked with Manchester United, but judging by his quotes ahead of a Champions League game against Liverpool last year he may well prefer a switch to Anfield.

Speaking to the Daily Mail he was full of praise for Klopp’s side, saying: “They all run and press and they manage it so well because it’s not just running for the sake of running.

“It’s very well organised. If [Mohamed] Salah goes wide, then Henderson comes inside, if someone else goes inside, someone else goes outside.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Jordan Henderson are two of the players who could make way
Xherdan Shaqiri and Jordan Henderson are two of the players who could make way
(Image: Andrew Powell)

“It’s very hard to escape that pressure when they come at you the way they do. One man comes out and his team-mate doesn’t say ‘where are you going?’ He goes with him.

“They all go. And then if they get turned, then at least seven of them, the four at the back and the three in the middle, all charge back.

“It’s incredible, they go out madly pressing like animals because they know that even if they lose it they’re still going to have at least seven running like mad to win it back.”

Do you want an exclusive pre-season preview of YOUR club – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *