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The Blues made their third signing of the summer with just two minutes to spare before the transfer window deadline
Chelsea have signed Saul Niguez on a season-long loan from Atletico Madrid with a £30 million ($41m) option to buy.
The Blues have brought the 26-year-old to Stamford Bridge after a turbulent and protracted day of talks that saw the deal described as ‘dead’ and then subsequently revived.
In fact, Thomas Tuchel’s side left it so late, they only completed the deal sheet for the Spain international with two minutes to go before the transfer deadline.
Why are Chelsea signing Saul?
The loan move comes after Tuchel requested that the Blues add another midfielder to compete with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
Saul has long been considered the best solution, with the loan giving the Blues a chance to ‘try before they buy’ as they did with Kovacic from Real Madrid.
The move is hoped to rekindle the Spain international’s best form after an underwhelming season last year despite Atleti winning the league.
It is understood that Tuchel allowed the club to send Ethan Ampadu out on loan to Venezia when he realised the Blues would bring another player into their squad.
That deal for the 21-year-old Wales international included a three-year contract renewal which shows just how much his parent club values him.
What was said?
“The only negative was not playing in my position [at Atletico],” Saul said after the move was announced in an interview with Ibai Llanos on Twitch.
“I could not show what I would like. I had a block in my head that did not allow me to play in another role. Chelsea’s option was to leave my comfort zone. It won’t be easy to get into that team.
“At Chelsea I will train in my position. Then we will see if I play. That is the biggest cause of my decision.
“I want to go to Chelsea, try the experience and then see what happens. I don’t want to think further. I want to go, compete and help Chelsea.
“Personally, I want to go back to being the Saul that I want to see. I don’t want to see the Saul that you’ve seen these last two years. I was very frustrated not being able to show people what I am capable of.”
What other deadline day business has happened?
Sevilla’s director of football Monchi explained that Chelsea’s approach for Jules Kounde failed because the club did not meet Sevilla’s valuation.
The Blues had made an offer that fell short of the Liga club’s asking price and they declined to come in with an improved bid, missing Sevilla’s deadline in the process.
Chelsea sent Ampadu on loan to Venezia, Thierno Ballo to Rapid Vienna, Dujon Sterling to Blackpool and Tino Anjorin to Lokomotiv Moscow, but saw Malang Sarr’s loan to Greuther Furth collapse.
Furthermore, Tuchel told Callum Hudson-Odoi that he had to stay at Stamford Bridge despite a loan bid from Borussia Dortmund. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has opted to stay despite being on the fringes of the squad.