Liverpool look set to lose out on Saul Niguez who is reportedly closing in on a move to Barcelona in a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann.
Liverpool ended their 30-year drought for the Premier League title under Jurgen Klopp in the 2019/20 season. However, their title defence last season was sub-par as they finished third due to the wrath of injuries that the team dealt with all throughout the campaign.
Squad depth has been an issue for the Reds, mainly in midfield as Liverpool lack a creator in the engine room barring Thiago Alcantara who struggled with injuries in his debut season. In light of the lack of depth, Klopp was eager on signing Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez following the departure of Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Spaniard had fallen down the pecking order last season and is no longer considered to be a valuable first-team member by Diego Simeone. Saul wants to leave the Spanish capital having fallen from prominence under the Argentinian coach and was linked with Liverpool for the past few weeks.
However, according to Fabrizio Romano, the 26-year-old is now closing in on a deal with Barcelona instead. The Catalans are under pressure to balance their books and reduce their wages after breaching La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations. In light of their breach, Barca have offered Antoine Griezmann- their highest earner at the club, to Atleti in a swap deal for Saul to sort out their financial issues. The deal has reached an advanced stage after both the players have provided the green light to switch clubs.
This potential swap deal could turn out to be a win-win situation for Atletico Madrid, as Simeone would get rid of a player who is no longer relevant to him and would instead receive a striker that flourished under his guidance. Los Rojiblancos could form a threatful attacking trident next season with the likes of Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Yannick Carrasco.
While this news comes as a huge blow to Liverpool, in hindsight the Reds have actually dodged a bullet by losing out on the attacking midfielder. He is inconsistent more often than not and has struggled with injuries for the past few years.