Saul Niguez
Saul Niguez is the second top scorer for Atletico Madrid this season with five goals in 22 appearances Getty

Manchester United midfield target Saul Niguez has played down speculation regarding his departure from Atletico Madrid in the ongoing January transfer window after reports suggested that the Red Devils were keen on signing him. The Spaniard has expressed his desire to remain at the Spanish capital club "for life", while paying tribute to manager Diego Simeone following his integration into the first-team at the Vicente Calderon.

According to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, the 20-time English champions have approached the La Liga club with an offer of around €20m (£15m, $21.8m) to lure the midfielder to Old Trafford, but the manager is unwilling to let Niguez leave the club midway through the season. The Spanish U21 international, who spent the 2013/14 season on loan at Rayo Vallecano has also attracted interest from United's rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in the past, but has now established himself in the Atletico first-team, and is currently their second top scorer behind Antoine Griezmann with five goals from 22 appearances.

The 21-year-old defensive midfielder, who is contracted to the La Liga title contenders until the summer of 2020, has made it clear that he has no plans to leave the Spanish capital, while attributing all his success thus far to Simeone.

"My biggest dream is to stay at Atletico Madrid for life. We've shown that we can fight for the La Liga title and even win it, but it is very even and any team can give you a scare, so we do not look beyond each game," Niguez said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"I'm going through a great moment and it shows on the field. I am happy for the goals, but mostly because the team is doing well. I will owe it all to Simeone because he has helped me to grow. I am in debt to him because he has always behaved great with me."

"He gave me my debut and was very sincere when he said I had to leave on loan to find more minutes at first-team level and continue to evolve. Time has proved him right," the Spanish midfielder added.