Barcelona to pursue Arsenal target if Saul deal fails

Barcelona could turn to a top Arsenal target if their move for Saul Niguez fails, according to a report.

The Catalan giants have opened discussions with Atletico over a swap deal involving France forward Antoine Griezmann.

The transfer could see Griezmann return to his former club as part of Barca’s obligation to make wage cuts.

Recent reports suggest talks are ongoing between the two Spanish giants, although Barca are demanding money as part of the deal.

When asked about the situation recently, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said (via Fabrizio Romano): “In the world of football anything is possible. No one knows what the outcome of these negotiations will be.”

Spanish outlet AS now claims that Barca have a backup option, should Saul decide to remain with Atleti.

They believe Ronald Koeman’s side could move for Renato Sanches of Lille, who has already been linked with Arsenal.

Koeman is reportedly searching for a ‘powerful and dynamic’ midfielder, with Sanches fitting the bill.

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He was one of Portugal’s best players as they reached the last 16 of Euro 2020.

Sanches also made 23 Ligue 1 appearances during Lille’s title-winning campaign.

Due to Barca’s lack of funds, they may try to sign the player on an initial loan deal. They would then have the chance to sign him permanently next summer.

At the start of July, Arsenal were named as an interested party, alongside Premier League rivals Liverpool.

The two sides are ‘keeping tabs’ on the 23-year-old ahead of a potential move.

Arsenal have already completed the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga for a reported £17.2million.

The 21-year-old Belgian has bolstered Mikel Arteta’s midfield options, although it seems he is still looking for a new player.

Sanches is one of the stars under consideration. He is joined by Wolves’ Ruben Neves on Arteta’s wish list.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are aiming to sign Gini Wijnaldum’s long-term replacement at Anfield.

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Sanches seems to have the right attributes to fill the Dutchman’s boots. He excels in winning the ball in the centre of the park and driving his team forwards with penetrating runs.

The player burst onto the scene at Euro 2016 to earn himself a transfer to Bayern Munich.

He failed to make it in Bavaria and also struggled while on loan with Swansea City.

However, he’s since turned his fortunes around with some great displays for Lille in France.

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