Saul Niguez’s rise to stardom at Atletico Madrid has been quite extraordinary.
The Spaniard has always been tipped for a bright future, but after scoring a wonderful solo effort against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month, his stock in Europe has increased considerably.
After picking up the ball near the half-way line, Niguez jinked past no less than three Bayern players before coolly slotting past Manuel Neuer to score a memorable goal.
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The 21-year-old’s potential - alongside his reasonable release clause of €45 million (£37 million) - saw him become one of Europe’s hottest prospects.
However, according to the Mirror, those eager to sign him this summer have been dealt a huge blow after Niguez opted to snub a move away and instead sign a new five-year deal at the Vicente Calderon.
Worse still for his Premier League suitors, the youngster’s release clause has now risen to an eye-watering €80 million, whilst his wages have also increased.
And you can hardly blame him for choosing to stay in the Spanish capital following a season where Atletico have narrowly missed out on the La Liga title and could still win the Champions League.
Diego Simeone’s side take on rivals Real Madrid in the final on May 28 in a bid to claim their second European title in three years.
It would be difficult to bet against them too, even despite the quality of their opponents. Niguez, alongside Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres, have been in superb form this year and surprised many with their unprecedented achievements.
However, whilst the future of one Atleti star has been secured, another’s is in doubt.
Interest is rife across Europe in star striker Griezmann, who has scored an astounding 32 goals in all competitions this season, 22 of which in La Liga.
Arsenal, United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all rumoured suitors, with the Frenchman’s price tag due to rise from £63 million to £79 million this summer.
However, Griezmann has reportedly told friends he will shun any advances from the Premier League in a bid to stay in the Spanish capital.
For now, though, his focus will not only be on the Champions League final, but also this summer’s European Championships in his native France.
Didier Deschamps’ side are favourites to win Euro 2016 and when armed with the likes of Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, it's clear to see why.
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