Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez has declared his desire to spend his entire career at the Vicente Calderon, following reports in January linking him with a move to Manchester United. The Spanish midfielder is still only 21, but says he is so happy under Diego Simeone that he wouldn't think twice if the La Liga offered him a lifetime deal.
The Spanish U21 star is enjoying an impressive campaign at Atletico, establishing himself in the first team thanks to his versatility while also netting six goals to become the squad's second top scorer, behind Antoine Griezmann.
Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reported during the January transfer window that United were ready to launch a bid of around €20m (£15.7m, $22.7m) to secure the player's services after he caught the eye of Louis van Gaal.
The player's father, however, insisted his son was happy to stay at the Vicente Calderon, warning United that he had a buy-out clause of €45m – hinting that Atletico Madrid would not negotiate for a lower fee.
"I just heard about this through the newspapers and the TV, we knew nothing. He has always said he wants to succeed at Atletico Madrid. Saul's release clause is €45m. The kid is happy at the club, they are counting on him, the team is doing well, top of La Liga. A lot of things would have to happen for him to leave," his father said.
Saul has now claimed he is so happy at Atletico Madrid that he is prepared sign a life-time contract and commit his future to the Calderon until the end of his career.
"I have been here half of my life. It would be very nice [to hang my boots up at Atletico Madrid]. I would like to stay here forever. Atletico have given me everything. It's my club, my home. If I was offered a lifetime contract I would be happy to play here until my legs gave up. I am eager to repay them for the trust they have put in me," he said during an interview with AS.
"I have fulfilled a dream I had since I was a kid, when I arrived to the youth ranks at Cadete B. The daily effort is the best way to thank the club for what they have given me. Atletico gave me a chance, they took care of me and showed me their values, which is the greatest thing about this club. I can just keep working to grow."