Report: Manchester City beating Barcelona to Saul Niguez capture
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Manchester City and Barcelona are locking horns in the transfer market once again.

After losing out on Frenkie de Jong to the Catalonians, Pep Guardiola's side is expected to nab Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez ahead of Barcelona in the summer, sources told ESPN FC's Mark Ogden and Moises Llorens.

Saul, 24, is seen as an ideal replacement for Fernandinho, who turns 34 in May. The fee to acquire Saul is believed to be in the region of €80 million.

Even though Barcelona won the race for De Jong with a €75-million agreement, they are reportedly fans of Saul's versatility, how he would lower the team's average age, and are aware that he is prepared to leave Los Colchoneros. Atletico Madrid are also poised to raise funds through player sales in the close season.

Conversations apparently took place between Saul's representatives and Barcelona over the past few months, but now Ogden and Llorens understand La Liga's leaders have been told that Manchester City will be the Spanish midfielder's final destination.

Saul arriving at City would end the club's protracted hunt for Fernandinho's successor at the base of midfield. The reigning Premier League champions were linked with Fred and Jorginho in the past - the pair have since joined Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively - and missed out on De Jong after he signed a pre-contract agreement in January to leave Ajax for Barcelona in the summer.

Ilkay Gundogan is the current first-choice replacement in Fernandinho's position and has mostly been in impeccable form since the start of February. The 28-year-old is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

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Report: Manchester City beating Barcelona to Saul Niguez capture
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