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CONFIRMADO: Atlético loan Saúl to Chelsea

The longtime colchonero is off to the Premier League.

Atletico Madrid v Villarreal - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images


Fabrizio Romano and Matteo Moretto are among the parties to claim that barring final details, Saúl Ñíguez will depart Atlético Madrid on an initial loan deal.

Chelsea is said to be the versatile midfielder’s destination, months after he asked to leave the club. Personal terms were reportedly agreed Tuesday. Atlético will receive a €5 million loan fee up front, and Chelsea will retain an option — set at €35 million or €40 million — to buy the 26-year-old when the loan ends.

Gigi Dragone reports the Blues will pay Saúl’s entire salary — nearly €8 million net — this season. But the player is not in London to finalize the transfer, and reports late Tuesday indicated that not all the necessary paperwork has been filed yet.

This deal appeared dead Monday night, but representatives from the two clubs renewed their efforts on deadline day to nudge it over the line.

Saúl has spent his entire professional career as an Atlético player and has made 340 appearances as a rojiblanco since Diego Simeone handed him his debut in 2012. He started the first two games of Atleti’s league title defense this season and came on a substitute in Sunday’s 2-2 draw versus Villarreal.


12:10 a.m. Spanish time

Spanish media is reporting a holdup of sorts with Saúl’s loan — it may or may not be paperwork-related. As such, this transfer — along with proposed deals for Antoine Griezmann to return to Atlético and Luuk De Jong to join Barcelona — is in danger.

12:20 a.m.

Libertad Digital’s David Vinuesa reports on Twitter that Saúl’s agents asked for a commission to complete the player’s switch to Chelsea, and this is threatening to derail all three transfers — if it hasn’t already.

12:27 a.m.

Romano and Cadena SER reporter Anton Meana say Saúl to Chelsea is done. Meana claims Saúl’s entourage has told him directly.

12:31 a.m.

Matt Law states Saúl’s move to Chelsea is 100 percent done. Just missing official announcement now.

12:45 a.m.

Done deal. Atlético have announced Saúl’s exit.