Louis van Gaal stands during a Man Utd press conference
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Manchester United closing in on La Liga starlet

| 12.01.2016

Manchester United have turned their attention to Spain in the search for a midfielder  with Atletico Madrid prospect Saul Niguez now on Louis van Gaal’s radar.

Reports suggest the Old Trafford club have had a £15m bid rejected by the Spaniards but with the 21-year-old’s buyout clause set at £18m a deal could be struck in the coming days.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone is reluctant to sell, claiming that Niguez remains a part of his plans for the future of the club but with Arsenal also monitoring the youngster the Argentine may not get his wish.

Niguez started his career in the Madrid club’s reserve side but was promoted to the first team in 2012.

A successful loan spell at Rayo Vallecano followed in the 2013-14 season, with Niguez recalled to his parent club where he featured a total of 35 times last season.

Elche-born Niguez has represented Spain at every level from U16 to U21 and is clearly one for the future but with United defensively sound for much of the season but struggling for goals at the other end this is hardly the signing Red Devils fans are crying out for in the transfer window.

Van Gaal continues to be linked with a £37m move for Lazio’s Brazilian midfielder but the Italians insist that no concrete offer has been made.

Lazio director of sport Igli Tare said: “So far, we haven’t received anything from Manchester United.

“We turned down a €50m offer from United on August 27 and nothing has changed since then, because if he finds consistency, then he’s worth much more.”

United travel to St James’ Park tonight looking to inflict a fifth successive defeat on Newcastle and are priced at 4/5 to do just that. The Magpies can be backed at 4/1 with the draw on at 5/2 but with the hosts losing 1-0 in each of their last four outings the 5/1 on a repeat of that scoreline could be the way to go.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.