Atletico's Saul joins Chelsea on loan with reported €40M option to buy

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Chelsea completed the signing of Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid just after the transfer window slammed shut across Europe on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old joins the Blues on an initial loan deal that includes a €40 million option to buy, according to The Guardian's Fabrizio Romano.

"We welcome Saul to the club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honors in five different competitions this season," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said in a statement. "He is a proven winner, a player with huge experience, and we know he will be very well-suited to the challenges that face us on all fronts in the coming year."

Saul is Chelsea's third and final summer addition after the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and backup goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli. The west London side walked away from negotiations with Sevilla after the Spanish side rejected a bid for defender Jules Kounde.

Saul was linked with Manchester United before accepting a move to Stamford Bridge.

"I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea," he said. "Blues fans, I am one of you now and I can't wait to wear the shirt, start training, and see all of you. See you soon!"

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel reportedly sought midfield reinforcements after allowing Tiemoue Bakayoko, academy graduate Billy Gilmour, and Ethan Ampadu to leave on loan.

Saul will compete for minutes alongside Mateo Kovacic, UEFA men's player of the year Jorginho, and N'Golo Kante. Currently, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, and Lewis Baker are on the periphery of Tuchel's first-team plans.

Saul missed out on being in Spain's Euro 2020 squad after a pedestrian season at Atletico. He made 22 La Liga starts - his fewest since the 2014-15 campaign - with manager Diego Simeone preferring Marcos Llorente and Koke in midfield.

The veteran made his debut with Atletico as a 17-year-old in 2012 and featured for the club 336 times, winning the La Liga title last season and the Europa League twice.

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Atletico's Saul joins Chelsea on loan with reported €40M option to buy
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