Serie A side plot Chelsea disruption in January after eyeing midfielder deal
Saul Niguez is already being linked with his next club after Chelsea as it becomes increasingly unlikely that he will stay at the club beyond the end of his loan spell.
Chelsea signed Saul on loan for the season on deadline day. The Spanish midfielder had been looking for a new challenge after becoming frustrated at Atletico Madrid. But he has simply traded one set of problems for another.
So far, Saul has only started one match in the Premier League and two in the Carabao Cup. Only a few weeks passed between Saul’s signing and the first reports that Chelsea would not be using their option to buy him.
Nothing that has happened since has suggested otherwise. Therefore, it could be back to the drawing board in 2022 for both club and player.
Chelsea have already been linked with a number of midfielders whom Thomas Tuchel may trust more. He is looking for support for the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
The German tactician has been giving more chances to the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose time at the club previously seemed to be up, in further bad news for Saul. Alternatively, it could be taken as encouragement for the loanee that there is a way back into Tuchel’s plans for fringe players.
But there remains a feeling they will be looking for someone extra in that position next year. The man they won’t be signing, though, is Saul.
The 26-year-old now faces a fresh crossroads in his career. Although his contract back in Madrid still lasts until 2026, it seems unlikely he will want to reintegrate at the Wanda Metropolitano. Besides, the La Liga wage cap would no longer allow him to be recalled.
Either way, there have been growing reports that he could terminate his spell with Chelsea in January. In that event, a potential next taker has been identified.
According to Tutto Juve, Serie A side Juventus have identified Saul as a possible midfield reinforcement for the winter transfer window.
Midfield is a major concern for Juventus and has been for a number of years. They signed Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo in the summer, but are still looking for extra quality in that position.
The likes of Aaron Ramsey and Weston McKennie could be allowed to leave. By clearing such space, the Old Lady could make a new signing.
Saul features on Juventus shortlist
They have a long list of potential targets, including Denis Zakaria, Axel Witsel and Aurelien Tchouameni. Coincidentally, the latter has been linked with Chelsea fairly frequently for their post-Saul plans.
Saul himself has now been added to the Juventus shortlist, though. It would mark the first time he would have played in Italy.
Tutto Juve suggest another loan deal could be the solution for Saul, this time taking him to Turin.
In the meantime, reports have indicated he is insistent on proving his worth at Chelsea. The current international break – for which he has been overlooked by Spain – gives him the chance to get more up to speed at Cobham.
Saul is happy enough in west London and gets on well with compatriots Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
Even though his long-term future already seems decided, the coming months will determine whether his spell at Stamford Bridge can be seen as a success.
If not, Juventus will be hoping they can get a better tune out of him should he head to Turin.