Man Utd news: Guillem Balague reveals Louis van Gaal snubbed Jose Mourinho transfer target | Football | Sport
Manchester United are being linked with Saul Niguez again amid the Atletico Madrid player’s stunning rise to prominence.
The Spain international recently scored twice for his country as they thumped World Cup finalists Croatia 6-0 in the Nations League.
Manchester United are supposedly ready to activate his massive £134million buyout clause with Jose Mourinho eyeing more attacking stardust.
Yet Balague has sensationally claimed the Red Devils were offered the chance to sign him three years ago, when he was beginning to catch the eye.
Back then, Louis van Gaal ruled the roost at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United manager, famed for giving young players a chance, was supposedly offered Saul.
However, Balague claims the Red Devils turned him down.
“Saul, finally people have realised the talent that this man has,” Balague told BBC 5 Live Sport.
“This is a man that as an 18-year-old was offered to Everton and they said no.
“As a 20-year-old he was offered to Manchester United and Manchester United said no.”
As well as United, Barcelona have also been linked with a sensational transfer.
Reports in Spain claim they have first option on Saul because of a pact reached with Atletico in 2013.
Back then, the two clubs negotiated a deal that saw David Villa leave Barcelona for the Spanish capital.
And Barcelona reportedly insisted they have first refusal on Saul and his then-Atletico team-mate, Javier Manquillo.
Saul, though, insists he is focused solely on the present amid links to both United and Barcelona.
“With my work, I have managed to achieve what I wanted, and in the end my feelings have always been positive,” he said.
“If they are not, then you may have to work in another way – looking for help outside: a professional, your family.
“Whenever I have had hard times, my family has been there and it is they who have been able to guide and advise me.
“For me, the circle that you have closest is very important: family, friends … It is the most important thing to keep you stable.
“Knowing that in football one day you are [Lionel] Messi, and the next day nobody wants you.
“You have to know who you are, have confidence in yourself and have the emotional stability to face all the situations that come to you.”