Transfer deadline day: Premier League round-up
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola turned down the opportunity to land Saul Niguez before Chelsea signed the 26-year-old midfielder on a temporary basis, according to reports. The Blues made Saul their final addition of the summer transfer window at the eleventh hour, with Atletico Madrid eventually accepting a £4million loan bid for the Spaniard’s services.
Chelsea will have the option to buy Saul for around £30million at the end of the season if Thomas Tuchel decides to keep him at Stamford Bridge.
The playmaker has already trained with his new team-mates at Cobham and is expected to make his Premier League debut against Aston Villa after the international break.
The European champions had been looking to add to their midfield ranks to provide the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic with some additional cover during the summer.
However, Chelsea came close to missing out on Saul and were only able to bring him to west London after Guardiola rejected the chance to sign him for City, according to the Daily Star.
The report claims that Atletico tried to flog him in a part-exchange deal that would have seen Bernardo Silva join the defending La Liga champions as part of the move.
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City decided to reject their bid in order to hold out for around £40million in cash, while Guardiola had no desire to add Saul to his ranks for the season ahead.
Their decision to avoid a move for the midfielder allowed Chelsea to pounce and engineer a last-gasp switch for themselves.
Saul recently insisted that he was delighted to join the Blues in spite of his failed move to City, with the Atletico man underlining his desire to help the club end their four-year wait for a Premier League title this season.
“When a team wins the Champions League, you already know how strong they are,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“But when you face them, you realise how hard they work. They understand each other perfectly, you can see that by their results.
“I have joined the team to help, to try to improve the team and to win titles. I think the Premier League will be really beautiful this year.
“But I want to try to win it, and I think I am in the best team to do it.”
Meanwhile, former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp recently suggested that Saul’s addition could be the final piece of the jigsaw for Thomas Tuchel as he goes in search of a first domestic title in charge of Chelsea.
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“What they’re probably thinking now, Kante picked up an injury against Liverpool at the weekend, they’ve got Kovacic [and] Jorginho,” Redknapp told Sky Sports News earlier this week.
“They might be feeling a little bit light in there and they also know this might be their year, this is a big chance.
“What you don’t want to do is leave yourself short with numbers in a certain area. Of course they’ve got other players who can play in midfield.
“Mason Mount can come and be one of the three in there. But if you can get a player like Niguez into the building, good experience, good player, that would make a lot of sense to me.
“Just to give yourself some cover and make sure you have options in that midfield area.”
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