Saul Niguez has killed speculation linking him with a summer move to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United or Barcelona after Atletico Madrid announced the player has committed his long-term future to the Vicente Calderon. The club's sporting director expressed delight over the news, which ties the versatile midfielder to the Champions League finalists until 2021.
The 21-year-old was expected to be one of the hottest properties for the upcoming mercato, after putting on a string of sensational appearances for Diego Simeone in the current campaign. He scored nine goals in 46 appearances for Los Colchoneros this season, including a brilliant solo goal in the Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich that helped his side book a spot in the final against Real Madrid on 28 May.
Vicente Del Bosque has rewarded him with a place in his 25-man preliminary squad for the Euro 2016, while a number of clubs have been reportedly attracted by his impressive development.
Cadena Cope reported during the January window that Manchester United had launched a £15m ($21.8m) bid to lure the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
Barcelona were also said to be closely monitoring his situation as the La Liga giants have a first option to sign him as part of the transfer of David Villa to the Vicente Calderon in 2013.
Marca, meanwhile, reported last week that Atletico were ready to offer Saul a new lucrative contract after Spurs offered the midfielder a five-year deal worth £23.3m to convince him to swap the Vicente Calderon for White Hart Lane.
The Spanish publication already predicted that the player would snub Spurs and commit his future to Simeone's side instead.
Atletico Madrid have confirmed the good news for Los Colchoneros fans by announcing the deal.
"Saúl Ñíguez has extended his contractual relationship with our club until 30th June 2021," the club confirmed. "The player reached an agreement with the club to extend their relationship for another season and signed a new contract."
"I'm very happy to be able to continue defending this shirt," Saul said to the club website after putting pen to paper.
Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero added: "We are all very happy with the agreement reached with Saúl. He is an excellent football player, who has been trained in our academy and who reinforces our commitment to home-grown players. He is in a great moment, but he will still grow much more because he has huge potential."
It is understood that Saul will see his salary greatly improved as part of the agreement but the club have failed to confirm whether his release clause, previously set at €45m (as confirmed by his father in January), has also been risen.