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Report: Barcelona plan to exercise transfer priority on Atlético Madrid midfielder

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid midfielder Saúl Ñíguez did THIS to win the first leg of the Champions League semifinal on Wednesday:

(via r/Soccer)

And that might get him a new team.

According to reports from Catalan media, the 21-year-old is on Barcelona's transfer list for the upcoming summer window. The Blaugrana have watched the Spaniard closely all season and scouts have been impressed by his quick development into a key member of Diego Simeone's scheme.

In fact, the reason Simeone let Arda Turan move to Barça last summer was to give Saúl more playing time and a better chance to grow. It clearly paid off, and that amazing goal could mean a place in the Champions League Final. But if Barça are interested in the player, do they have a real chance of signing him?

The answer is YES. Back in 2013, when the Catalans sold David Villa to the Colchoneros, the two teams agreed that Barça would have the priority on the signing of a certain youngster who was growing into a star in Atleti's academy. The youngster's name? Saúl Ñíguez. The Blaugrana can match any offer from other clubs for the player, and because of the good business relationship between Barça and Atleti, Saúl would go to Catalonia on a lower fee than the €45 million release clause on the midfielder's contract.

Saúl is already a great midfielder in Simeone's system. His defensive qualities obviously stand out, but he is good enough on the ball to easily fit into Barça's scheme. Unlike Arda Turan, Saúl is a natural central midfielder, and if his passing improves, he could become a reliable piece of the Blaugrana midfield.

And as the goal he scored in a Champions League semifinal against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich clearly shows, the kid is not afraid of the big lights and is tremendously talented. Sounds like a Barça player to me.

What about you, Blaugranes?

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