Chelsea clinch late deal to sign ’proven winner’ Saul Niguez


helsea say they have signed a “proven winner” as they sealed a loan deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez in the last hours of the transfer window.

However, the Blues were unable to make it a deadline-day double as they failed to bring in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

Saul has joined Thomas Tuchel’s side on a season’s loan with an option to buy for £30million next summer and said: “I am very excited to start this new challenge with Chelsea. 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!”’

The 26-year-old is a versatile player, who can operate as a defensive midfielder as well as further up the pitch.

After progressing through the academy at Atletico, Saul went on to help his boyhood club win two Europa League trophies and the Copa del Rey before helping them to the La Liga title last term

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘We welcome Saul to the club and believe he completes our squad as we compete for honours in five different competitions this season.

“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.”

However, the Blues were dealt a blow at the start of deadline day when Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi laid bare the situation regarding Kounde, who has a £68.7million release clause.

“The only written, formal offer from Chelsea came last Wednesday, around 5pm,” said Monchi at a press conference.

“We weren’t satisfied with the offer, and it was linked to Chelsea selling a player. It was a decent fee but it didn’t meet our criteria. We haven’t spoken with Chelsea since Friday night. We all decided that it was best Jules didn’t travel to Elche.

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