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Why Manchester United have upper hand over Liverpool for Saul Niguez

Both Manchester United and Liverpool want Saul Niguez, according to reports. So why do the Reds’ rivals have the upper hand?

The Mirror claims that both Manchester United and Liverpool are after Saul Niguez. In fact, the player’s representatives are jetting into the UK to try and figure out a transfer with Atletico Madrid’s blessing.

La Liga’s champions are after a £40m fee, which seems very reasonable for what you’re getting.

The Mirror also makes one other thing clear – United are favourites over Liverpool to get this done. So why exactly is that?

United hold upper hand over Saul Niguez

Per ESPN, Liverpool don’t have all that much money to spend this summer. Though, that doesn’t mean they’re completely broke.

The Reds have sold plenty of players this summer and, in our estimation, have brought in about £30m. All in all, they should be able to scrape enough together to sign Saul.

The real problem, however, is wages.

Journalist Neil Jones recently laid this out for Goal’s The Shop Window Transfer Show. He explained how Saul would almost certainly come in on big wages and that’s an issue for Liverpool.

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The Reds want to negotiate as many as eight first-team contracts this summer. Saul arriving on a high wage would almost certainly push up the figures current players demand.

Thus Liverpool’s wage bill would soar – and it’s already very high.

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The Athletic suggest that Liverpool had the Premier League’s second-highest wage bill in 2019/20. It’s only gone up since, with a few new contracts since then.

Thiago arrived, for instance, almost certainly on a lot of money. Trent Alexander-Arnold just agreed to a new deal, too.

Liverpool are stretching themselves thin, then.

The Athletic’s piece also mentions how United have more room to manoeuvre when it comes to spending as they make more commercially. Couple that with a lower wage bill and it’s easy to see why they’d find it easier to pay Saul.

Then add in that Liverpool want to increase their wage bill anyway with these new contracts. It’s a really tough situation.

We still believe Liverpool could sign Saul. Jones could be wrong about his demands or the club’s thinking.

But when it’s all laid out, it does seem that United have a strong upper hand here.

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