Not even five months ago, Arsenal were reportedly on the verge of completing a deal for Atlético Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
The Spaniard wasn’t playing regularly and wasn’t trusted as often as he wanted in centre-midfield. It looked like his time at the club was coming to an end.
A broken leg for Tiago blocked any Arsenal move, which was reportedly so close to happening that Saul was packing his bags, allowed the midfielder into the team and he has since starred in Atlético’s run to the Champions League final.
If that wasn’t enough of a blow, chances of signing him in the near future are now completely over as Atlético confirmed a new contract until 2021 on Wednesday.
That new deal almost doubles the player’s release clause from €45m to €80m and proves he’s now happy to stay at the club.
Saúl’s deal with Atleti adds an extra year until 2021, also increases his salary and nearly doubles his clause (€45m to €80m).
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) May 18, 2016
It appears Arsenal have recognised it’s time to move on, with the Gunners close to completing a deal for Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka. It’s a move which has been reported for weeks but things appeared to progress further on Tuesday as Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl finally confirmed a bid, though he wouldn’t comment on who the bid has been made by.
We can only assume it’s Arsenal, as the local press in Germany seem convinced.