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Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in transfer row as Antoine Griezmann problem surfaces

Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in transfer row as Antoine Griezmann problem surfaces

Chelsea are set to clash with Atletico Madrid over Saul Niguez, with the Blues eager to end the midfielder’s season-long loan just two months after joining the club.

Saul has struggled to make an impression at Stamford Bridge and has only appeared in a handful of Premier League games this season.

And, despite reports earlier on Tuesday that Saul was determined to win Thomas Tuchel over and save his loan spell in London, it now appears that Tuchel has already made up his mind on the midfielder.

But he’ll be disappointed because Atletico Madrid reportedly has no intention of allowing Chelsea to terminate their loan agreement early, leaving both the Blues and Saul in limbo.

According to a new  Marca report, there is no clause in their agreement with Chelsea that allows them to send Saul back early without Atletico’s permission.

And, given that Atletico managed to fund Antoine Griezmann’s sensational return by loaning Saul to London for the season, they have no desire to facilitate a return at this time.

Although that stance is likely to disappoint the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, the report goes on to state that, while Atletico are likely to get their way in January, they are pretty much resigned to the fact that Chelsea will decline their option to make the deal permanent, meaning Saul will return to Spain in the summer.

It’s a bad situation for the Spanish star, who only arrived in England on transfer deadline day a little more than two months ago.

Since then, Saul has failed to make an impression on Tuchel, who yanked him off the field at halftime during his Premier League debut.

Since then, the midfielder has only played two minutes in the league, and Tuchel has kept him out of the majority of Chelsea’s Champions League games.

Competition for a midfield spot in west London is particularly fierce right now, with both Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek reigniting their Blues careers in recent weeks.

Saul has fallen even further down Tuchel’s pecking order as a result of their unexpected rise to prominence. And it’s unclear where he’ll fit in once players like N’Golo Kante are fully fit again.

But perhaps the more pressing issue for Saul right now is his long-term future.

It’s unclear whether Atletico will be able to find room in their budget to accommodate him once his loan deal in the Premier League expires, and he’ll struggle to impress any suitors if he doesn’t play any football, which could lead to Atletico struggling to offload him.

Despite the fact that the situation is still in its early stages, it appears that no one – especially Saul – will emerge victorious.


Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in transfer row as Antoine Griezmann problem surfaces

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