Manchester United have reportedly received a blow in their pursuit of Saul Niguez with Atletico Madrid reluctant to sell him for anything less than his £132m release clause.
Over the past month, Niguez has been talked up as a transfer target for the Red Devils and it was claimed that United could make a bid of around £70m to land his signature.
However, according to Marca, Atletico consider Niguez as an integral part of their plans and they won’t sanction his sale unless any club trigger the £132m (£150m) release clause on his contract.
Niguez can play anywhere in the midfield and he is effective with his tackling, interception skills and ability to win aerial duels. He can also contribute in an attacking sense with the occasional goal or assist.
As such, he is almost the ideal player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it is highly unlikely that the Red Devils are going to break their transfer record to land the Spain international.
Elsewhere, Niguez has more than six years remaining on his current deal with Atletico and that puts the Spanish side in a strong position to dictate the future of the 25-year-old.
Solskjaer currently has multiple players, who can operate in the centre of the park but it is understood that they are still eyeing a new defensive midfielder for next season.
Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred have performed the role effectively at different parts of the current campaign but plans appear in place to sign a young replacement for the former.
Elsewhere, McTominay and Fred are both accustomed to playing in a central midfield role while taking the ball forward and Solskjaer may want someone, who is more suited to the holding position.