Chelsea may use the same tactic as Roman Abramovich to land Saul Niguez ahead of Manchester United.
Saul Niguez, who has been linked with Manchester United, could follow in the footsteps of Claude Makelele and join Chelsea.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to have approved a last-minute move for Atletico Madrid playmaker Saul Niguez before the transfer deadline Thursday evening. The Blues are looking to strengthen their midfield and have named Saul, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United, as a top target.
Last season, the 26-year-old made 41 appearances in all competitions for Atletico Madrid, helping them win their first La Liga title in seven years.
Despite this, Saul has apparently been advised that he can leave the club on loan this summer, with his availability luring Chelsea into a late transfer window.
According to The Athletic, the Blues are now ‘actively pursuing’ the midfielder on a temporary basis.
Chelsea are desperate to reach an agreement with Atletico Madrid, but it is unclear whether club director Marina Granovskaia will be able to bring Saul to Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes at 11 p.m.
The European champions are no strangers to last-minute signings, with Abramovich previously sponsoring Claude Makelele’s arrival in a similar situation.
In the summer of 2003, the influential Frenchman was purchased from Real Madrid for a fee of £18 million, cementing his reputation as one of football’s most revolutionary midfielders.
Makelele was also highly linked with a move to United, but Chelsea snatched him up in the final hour of the transfer season and secured his services ahead of the Red Devils.
While there has been no indication that Manchester United will attempt a late deal for Saul, it appears like Chelsea could pull off a similar feat if their efforts to get the Atletico Madrid midfielder go on into the final hours of deadline day.
The signing of Makelele, which occurred a month after Abramovich gained control of the club, proved to be one of the Russian billionaire’s most brilliant decisions.
The midfielder went on to win the Premier League and both domestic cups before joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in 2008. He had a highly successful five-year career at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will be eager for Saul’s arrival as the deadline approaches this evening. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”