Atletico Madrid CEO Gil Marin has revealed that Barcelona intended to sign Saul Niguez in the summer transfer window, but backed off after learning of an updated release clause.
Barca’s midfield has deteriorated in recent seasons, with the exit of club legend Xavi and Andres Iniesta’s advanced age causing the Catalan club to bring in reinforcements, few of which have lived up to expectations.
Barca ultimately signed Paulinho this term, with the Brazilian surprising many by settling in wonderfully at Camp Nou, but the former Tottenham man was not the club’s first choice according to Marin.
“Bartomeu called me in the summer to tell me they needed a player of Saul Niguez’s characteristics and that they intended to pay his release clause,” the Atletico supremo told Onda Cero.
“What he didn’t know was that, three days beforehand, we had signed a new contract and his clause went up from 80 to €150million.”