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Chelsea, Manchester United continue battle over Saúl - reports

Even with the season underway, Saúl could still be set for a transfer to the Premier League.

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Club Atletico de Madrid v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Saúl Ñíguez is on the brink of leaving Atlético Madrid, according to Diario AS.

The Premier League is the pivot’s likely destination, with Manchester United and Chelsea FC vying for his signature. Any deal appears likely to be a loan with both an obligation to buy included in the deal — but no fee has been mentioned in any reports.

FC Barcelona were linked with Saúl earlier in the summer, with Antoine Griezmann’s name mentioned in a possible swap deal. But once that deal was deemed out of the question, Saúl settled back in to life at Atlético.

The 26-year-old has had a foot out the Wanda Metropolitano doors all summer. But after two decent showings in the first two games of the season, speculation had died down. However, it’s still possible that Sunday’s game against Elche, the club from his hometown, was his last game for Diego Simeone.

A report in the Telegraph on Monday night claimed Chelsea have made a late push for Saúl, with the London club still open for business after the Romelu Lukaku signing. Manchester United have signed Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane this summer, but after a draw against Southampton at the weekend, criticism of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ramped up again as they look to build a title-challenging squad.

Saúl broke into Diego Simeone’s side as a do-it-all midfielder and has played 339 times for the club. His versatility has come to the fore in recent years with roles at left-back, centre-back and all across midfield not foreign to the Spaniard.

He went through a difficult patch of form last season and admitted that Atlético needed a better version of Saúl than they were seeing, and the club’s fourth captain also admitted to suffering mentally from the strain.