Barca look to ‘Plan B’


Barcelona have reportedly made Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez their ‘Plan B’ if a deal cannot be done for Marco Verratti.

According to AS, Barca consider Saul to have “the ideal profile to reinforce central midfield”, while the Spain Under-21 international “would fit perfectly into the style of play proposed by new boss Ernesto Valverde”.

However, the newspaper notes the Catalans are also aware that negotiations will be difficult to conduct, given Atleti’s ban on registering new players until January.

Saul, who turns 23 in November and has an €80m release clause, was a virtual ever-present for Los Colchoneros last season, making 53 appearances in all competitions.


AS adds Barca technical secretary Robert Fernandez will attend the European U21 Championship to keep a close eye on the starlet.

He is described by the publication as offering “certain control, a sensational first touch, tireless work-rate in wide areas and good movement in the final third”.

The former Rayo Vallecano loanee also proved he could play in central defence during his time with the second-tier side.