Report: Liverpool "admire" Saul, Brendan Rodgers nearly signed him in 2014

Liverpool are reportedly “massive admirers” of Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.

The Reds are on the lookout for a Georginio Wijnaldum replacement, with numerous central midfielders having been linked in recent months.

There appears to be genuine interest in the likes of Florian Neuhaus and Renato Sanches.

However, Saul can now be added to the list after the latest comments from journalist Neil Jones.

Speaking to Redmen TV, Jones said: “I know for a fact that he (Saul) has massive admirers at Liverpool.

“He was actually quite close to signing for Liverpool in the Brendan Rodgers era, 2014. Around January time, they looked to be getting rid of Lucas Leiva.

“Had they done so, Liverpool would have signed Saul on a loan-to-buy.

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Jones continued: “I’m not sure how much he’d cost. I’m surprised that Atletico Madrid are looking to get rid of him.

“I do know that if there was an opportunity and the price was right, Liverpool would want to be in that conversation.”

RTK View: Saul to Liverpool a possibility – certainly a good option

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This is exciting news considering that it comes from such a reliable source.

Every fan wants Liverpool to sign a top-level midfielder. Saul Niguez could be exactly that.

With Rodrigo de Paul joining Atletico Madrid, we have to assume that it will be very possible for someone to get their hands on the Spaniard this summer.

We do have to acknowledge that he had a down season in 2020/21, despite Atletico Madrid winning La Liga.

Just 22 of his 33 appearances were starts, with the likes of Koke, Marcos Llorente, Hector Herrera and Geoffrey Kondogbia offering competition in central midfield.

Considering the potential that he showed in previous seasons, Saul really should be an established world-class star at this stage. He has been a key man for Diego Simeone’s side since the age of 20.

His poor form saw him surprisingly miss out on a spot in the Spain squad for Euro 2020.

He is still an excellent player, though, and still has the time to become a truly elite No 8.

In terms of a direct replacement for Wijnaldum, the now-26-year-old is an excellent option.

As well as in a box-to-box midfield role, he can play as a No 6, centre-back or even left-back. We are sure that his versatility will have caught Jurgen Klopp’s eye.

He does not score many goals, but offers energy, availability, defensive security and excellent technical ability.

Saul may not be as exciting an option as a Sanches or a Ryan Gravenberch or a Jude Bellingham, but it certainly appears that he is on the shortlist.

Don’t be too surprised if he is the player that Liverpool make a serious move for in the coming weeks.

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