MANCHESTER UNITED have reportedly identified Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez as a replacement for Michael Carrick.
Despite spending over £150million in the summer, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is eager to bolster his squad over the next two transfer windows.
United have returned to form of late – winning their last nine games across all competitions – but that has not stopped Mourinho earmarking potential reinforcements.
Carrick has been exceptional of late but the 36-year-old is yet to be offered a new contract with his current deal expiring in the summer.
It has led to Mourinho exploring potential replacements with Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko said to be on his list.
However, Spanish website Don Balon claim that United have identified Saul as their dream Carrick replacement.
The Atletico star broke into the team last year with his stunning solo goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League pushing him into the spotlight.
It is said that – despite having the likes of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera – Mourinho desires a top quality central midfielder.
Saul has recreantly established himself at international level for Spain and is billed as one of European football’s rising stars.
The report also says that the 22-year-old could leave in the summer should manager Diego Simeone depart.
United are expected to table a bid for Saul (his new contract has an €80m release clause) at the end of the season and have the money to broker a deal.