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Report: Liverpool's Saul plans to change as clubs seek major swap deal

Liverpool target Saul is nearing a swap deal elsewhere, according to reports. The Reds will have to change their plans.

This comes from COPE in Spain. They claim Barcelona and Atletico Madrid near a swap deal that sees Saul move to Catalonia.

Heading the other way? Antoine Griezmann. It would be a massive deal in the transfer window – potentially the biggest.

Saul supposedly wants out of Atletico after finding his minutes chopped last season. That’s something AS first claimed around four months ago.

And AS then reported last month that Liverpool had their eyes on the Spaniard. That’s a move that would make a lot of sense to us.

It appears to be off the table, however, as Barcelona arrive with an offer that’s hard to match.

Saul swap deal

Griezmann used to play for Atletico, of course, before joining Barcelona in 2019. Despite things not quite working out there, the Frenchman remains a world-class talent and one Diego Simeone knows how to use.

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That makes it incredibly difficult for Liverpool to compete with this offer. That AS report claims the Reds would hope to sign Saul for around £36m but Atletico certainly aren’t signing anyone as good as Griezmann for that amount.

So what can Liverpool really do here? Their only hope is to convince Saul that moving to Anfield is far better for him than moving to Barcelona. That isn’t as easy as it first sounds.

The Reds are certainly in a much better position than Barcelona. Few would doubt that. But the Catalonians can offer Saul the regular first-team football he supposedly craves.

We’re not sure Liverpool can do that. The first-choice midfield at Anfield next season will almost certainly be Thiago, Jordan Hendeson and Fabinho whether Saul arrives or not.

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Barcelona can offer both Saul and Atletico exactly what they’d want, then. Liverpool can’t quite do that and that’s a real shame.

We wrote all the way back in March how Saul would be a wonderful fit here. He’s about as good a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum as Liverpool could hope for.

It was great to see the Reds linked with him, then, and Barcelona’s supposed offer is unfortunate. Funnily enough, we can’t imagine they’d actually make this offer if they’d signed Wijnaldum. Instead, he went to Paris Saint-Germain.

Liverpool will likely have to look elsewhere as a result. It’s a shame but we’ll back them to find the right player.

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