Liverpool had been linked with Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul earlier in the summer, with the 27-year-old Argentine said to be seen as a potential Gini Wijnaldum replacement. Those links largely faded as his true destination emerged: Atletico Madrid.
At the same time, there were rumours De Paul was joining Atleti to replace Saúl Ñíguez, with the 26-year-old Spaniard rumoured to be likely to depart this summer. Now, it could be that De Paul joining Atleti will in fact facilitate Saúl joining Liverpool shortly.
That’s the story developing over the weekend according to La Razón, at least, with the Spanish outlet casting it as something of a transfer triangle with Saúl wanting out with the Reds his most likely destination and Atleti wanting his replacement in first.
They go as far as to say that there’s already a broad agreement in place for Atleti to sell Saúl to Liverpool, and that they believe a fair price would be one slightly in excess of the fee they pay for De Paul. It has been widely claimed that fee will be €35M.
Having averaged over 4,000 minutes a season the previous four seasons, Saúl’s role decreased last year as he played 2,673 minutes despite generally being fit. Still, for around €35M he would make an intriguing potential Wijnaldum replacement.