Young central midfielder Saul Niguez's contract renewal talks with Atletico Madrid have hit a stumbling block amid interest in the player from Manchester United and Arsenal, reports say. Saul, 21, has enjoyed a breakout season at the Vicente Calderon and found the back of the net in Atletico's 3-0 win over Real Sociedad on 1 March.
He is contracted to the Madrid club until the summer of 2020 and has a buyout clause of €24m (£19m), according to Spanish daily AS. The paper claimed negotiations between Atletico and Saul over a contract extension were at a stalemate due to the player's wage demands of €5m a year.
United scouts have watched Saul in action for Atletico over the past year, with the Daily Mirror claiming that the Old Trafford club was mulling a summer bid for the player. Arsenal have also been linked with the player, who has won 15 caps for the Spain U21 side.
'No plans to leave'
In an interview with AS in February, Saul rubbished the prospect of leaving Atletico at the end of the season, saying he wanted to stay at the Vicente Calderon for the rest 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," he stated.
"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.
"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."