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Atleti begin talks with Saul over new contract

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'Tis the season of contract extensions with Atletico following up their reported offer to Fernando Torres by entering into negotiations with the highly-rated midfielder

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Marca are claiming that Atleti are keen on tying Saul Niguez down on a long-term contract amid strong interest from clubs abroad, such as Tottenham Hotspur. The Spanish media outlet report that the English side are offering the Spaniard a contract of 5 years’ worth €6m a year. His current contract at the Vicente Calderon runs until 2020 but talk of offers from overseas has seemingly grabbed the boardroom’s attention and there’s hope that negotiations will be swift.

It’s expected that the new contract will see Saul commit his future to the club past his current deal, which was signed last year. Club president Enrique Cerezo is confident that talks will be successful after informing Marca,"As far as I know, also from what he’s told myself and the players himself, he wants to stay here."

Saul has shown himself to be a remarkable talent ever since he replaced Tiago in the starting line-up following the 35-year-old's devastating injury before Christmas. His wonder goal in the Champions League semi-final first leg tie versus Bayern Munich towards the end of last month was an example of the skill and talent that the 21-year-old is blessed with. Hoping to find a way into Vicente del Bosque’s EURO 2016 squad, Niguez has nine goals and four assists so far this season. However, it’s not just his attacking play that makes him a valuable asset in Diego Simeone’s side.

Defensively, according to Whoscored.com, Saul has averaged just over 3.1 tackles per game in La Liga and close to 2 interceptions in all competitions. His ability and will to get involved in the less attractive side of the game is a credit to not only the Spaniard but also his manager. Saul fits perfectly in Atleti’s midfield alongside players like Koke, Gabi, Tiago and his stay at Atleti should only help improve his production on both sides of the field.