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Atlético cannot sign a striker unless Saúl leaves

The swap deal, Saúl for Griezmann has cooled. Liverpool and Manchester United are keen on the midfielder. Atlético cannot sign if Saúl doesn't leave.

Atlético cannot sign a striker unless Saúl leaves

Atlético brought the week to a close in Los Ángeles de San Rafael with one player attracting all of the attention - Saúl. The midfielder spent the past five days training with his future up in the air.

Saúl could end up leaving, although for now, he remains part of Simeone's squad and Atlético are not prepared to take any risks with him. While some reports have placed the 26-year-old at Barcelona next season, the situation has changed completely during the past couple of days. Saúl could still end up at Barcelona, but his agent has contacted several other clubs. Liverpool and Manchester United are two possible destinations if he doesn't join Barça.

Atlético will not be able to sign anyone if Saúl remains at the club. LaLiga will not allow them to register another player if they exceed salary cap restrictions. Atleti can only sign a player if Saúl leaves.

Saul in training last week
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Saul in training last weekPEPE ANDRESDIARIO AS

Simeone looking to strengthen Atleti's attack

If Saúl goes to Barcelona, Griezmann would likely move in the opposite direction. If he doesn't go to Camp Nou, and signs for a Premier League club, Simeone will be able to sign the striker he is looking for the bolster his attack - Rafa Mir.

In that sense, practically all of Atleti's transfer dealings this summer depend on Saúl. However, in Simeone's favour, the squad is more or less complete and only requires minor tweaking. The midfielder has suggested that it is Atlético who want him to leave. While there may be some truth in that, they also understood that the player was keen for a change of scenery and a new challenge. Rodrigo de Paul's arrival is another obstacle in Saúl's way.

For now, Atlético are not too worried. Saúl, still in his prime at 26, is a highly sought-after player. His market value is 40 million euros and as of the moment, there have been no major developments. If no agreement is reached with Barcelona, Liverpool or Manchester United could be his next destination.