Saul Niguez is "very flattered" by rumours linking him with Manchester United but says Atletico Madrid do not need to worry about speculation over his future.

The Spain international was touted as a target for United before the Premier League giants moved for Ajax's Donny van de Beek last week.

United great Rio Ferdinand urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sign Saul earlier this year, describing the midfielder as the "conductor" in the Atletico side.

And Saul, who signed a nine-year contract extension with Atleti in 2017, is grateful to have been subjected to such praise from iconic defender Ferdinand.

"I am very flattered that a club like Manchester United, or other teams that ask about me, take me into consideration," he told Marca.

"For me it is very positive. That strong people in those clubs speak well of you means that I am doing things well at Atletico Madrid."

Saul has previously stated he will not consider leaving the Spanish capital while long-serving head coach Diego Simeone is still in charge.

The 25-year-old is entering his seventh season as an Atletico regular and insists the club have nothing to fear when transfer rumours circulate.

"I think not," he said. "[Those feelings] have never been transmitted to me from the club."

Atletico finished 17 points behind LaLiga champions Real Madrid last season, exited the Copa del Rey in the round of 32 and lost to RB Leipzig in the Champions League quarter-finals.

However, Saul is hoping to challenge Madrid and Barcelona for top spot this time around and win his first league title, having been out on loan when Atleti triumphed in 2013-14.

"Honestly, after a complicated season, this one looks exciting and we hope that we will start it well despite the fact that we have little preparation time," he said.

"We have a very good squad, very young, in which we have many things to improve but we are working together and united. I think we have to be ambitious and fight to be up there."

Atletico begin their new season with a home match against Granada on September 26.

Goodbye Quique Setien?

Barcelona's Champions League horror show against Bayern Munich is reportedly the final straw for the club's hierarchy.

Who will replace the former Real Betis boss at Camp Nou?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO SACK SETIEN

Barcelona have decided to sack head coach Quique Setien, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

LaLiga giants Barca were humiliated in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday following an 8-2 defeat to Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich.

Barca have already decided Setien – who replaced Ernesto Valverde in January – will not continue in 2020-21, and former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has already been linked, while club great Xavi and Massimiliano Allegri are other possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Star reports Manchester United are eyeing Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez. United have been linked to the Spain international previously and are believed to be ready to revive their interest.

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Evening Standard says United remain in talks with Borussia Dortmund regarding Jadon Sancho. Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave the Bundesliga side, though United are reportedly still in negotiations for the England international. Meanwhile, Outlet Republika in Serbia claims United have agreed to sign teenage sensation Filip Stevanovic from Partizan Belgrade before loaning him back to the capital club.

- Hella Verona defender Marash Kumbulla wants to join Inter, Sky Sport Italia claims. Kumbulla has been linked to Napoli, Lazio and Juventus.

Bayern Munich want to keep loanee Ivan Perisic, according to Sky Sport Italia. Perisic has spent the season on loan from Inter and Bayern are hoping to negotiate a permanent deal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to remain at Milan and could soon sign a new contract with the Rossoneri, reports Calciomercato.

- Foot Mercato claims Barca could consider re-signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern. Thiago, who left Barca in 2013, has been tipped to join Liverpool, while Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have emerged as possible destinations.

Arsenal are planning to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico following the arrival of William, reports The Daily Star.

Saul Niguez apologised to Atletico Madrid fans after Diego Simeone's side fell to a late 2-1 defeat against RB Leipzig in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Atleti looked to have a realistic route to the final after being put in the same half of the draw as Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain and Atalanta.

But after Tyler Adams struck in the 88th minute to restore Leipzig's lead following Joao Felix's response to a Dani Olmo opener, the Bundesliga outfit advanced in Lisbon to earn a showdown with PSG.

Atletico midfielder Saul acknowledged the scale of the disappointment for the club's supporters in Lisbon on Thursday.

"The opponents were superior in many phases of the game," the Spain international said post-game.

"We were very excited. The fans deserved more. We had a point of hope and we are very sorry."

Meanwhile, captain and team-mate Koke voiced his disappointment at failing to capitalise on the unique format of this season's competition, where one-legged ties bring the latter stages closer into view.

"We were very excited about this Champions League and now it's time to get up," he said. "On the field, sometimes you are better and sometimes worse. We have to see what has failed.

"This is a different competition. In three games, we could have won the Champions League. Now that will not be able to happen."

For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

- Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

- While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

- According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

Sergio Busquets conceded Barcelona face an uphill battle to retain their LaLiga crown after a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi scored his 700th goal but it was not enough for Barca to claim all three points at Camp Nou, where Saul Niguez scored two penalties to earn Atleti a share of the spoils.

The draw leaves Barca one point behind leaders Real Madrid, who could move four clear with a win over Getafe on Thursday.

There are five games remaining for Barca to turn things around, but midfielder Busquets acknowledged their fate may well now be out of their hands.

"Look, to fight for the title is really complicated if you're dropping two points each two games, but we're going to keep fighting until the end," the Spain international told Movistar.

"We know it's difficult but we're going to try. They're a difficult rival. We dominated and created chances but the two penalties, penalised us – it's been a real shame.

"We were leaders and in a perfect situation before the break. I think it's been difficult for us since – some matches we've played better, others we haven't.

"Dropping points today and at the weekend means we're a little bit further away from our goal, which is to retain the title. I think we played better today but it's a difficult task ahead of us."

Diego Costa's own goal from Messi's corner put Barcelona ahead, before Saul hauled Atleti level from 12 yards – his goal coming after Costa had seen his penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, only for a VAR check to spot the goalkeeper had moved off his line.

Messi chipped home his landmark goal from the penalty spot shortly after half-time, yet Saul kept his composure with his second spot-kick of the match.

Yannick Carrasco won both of Atleti's penalties, and the Belgian – who returned to the club in January following a stint in China – was buoyed by the visitors' resilience.

"We always want to win, but I think the team played well. It's just unfortunate we couldn't get the three points," he said.

"We have to keep working and think about the next game. We were playing against one of the best teams in the world. A point away from home is always positive but we wanted to win.

"It's the attitude which is the most important facet of this team always. After that we can win or lose, but if the attitude is the correct one then the coach is happy. Today wasn't to be but we can be proud of our performance."

Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his career but Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid by a pair of Saul Niguez penalties, damaging their LaLiga title defence.

Barca's all-time leading scorer Messi brought up the milestone at Camp Nou with a brilliant Panenka from the penalty spot as he punished Felipe for sending Nelson Semedo to ground early in the second half.

However, Saul, who first equalised in the opening period after Diego Costa's own goal, powered home from 12 yards for the second time after Semedo caught Yannick Carrasco in the box.

The result provided a boost to Real Madrid, who can open up a four-point advantage at the summit by beating Getafe on Thursday.

Messi appeared to have ended his wait for his landmark goal in the 11th minute, but his corner only beat Jan Oblak due to a deflection off the inside of Costa's leg.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a penalty from Costa after Arturo Vidal tripped Carrasco, only for a VAR review to spot the goalkeeper had strayed off his line. A re-take was ordered and Saul guided the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Messi curled a magnificent attempt from the right corner of the box narrowly wide, before steering a cutback from Jordi Alba outside the left upright and seeing a deflected free-kick turned behind by Oblak before half-time.

Barca regained the lead five minutes after the restart when Messi cheekily chipped home his 700th goal from the penalty spot.

Costa missed the target with a header but Carrasco won another penalty and Saul's spot-kick found the net off the gloves of Ter Stegen.

Vidal was unable to find the target with a pair of decent opportunities as Barca were forced to settle for a draw that will do little to quell the rumours of discontent in the dressing room.

What does it mean? Barca falter again

Quique Setien changed his approach for the visit of Atleti, leaving Antoine Griezmann and Ansu Fati on the bench and playing Riqui Puig behind a front two of Messi and Luis Suarez.

The Blaugrana dominated possession throughout but proved vulnerable on the counter-attack and Setien did not change formation until he introduced Fati in the 85th minute – Griezmann came on five minutes later.

It was too late and Barca have now drawn three of their past four LaLiga fixtures and seen the two-point lead they held when the season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic evaporate. With five games remaining, Setien needs to turn things around quickly.

Magical Messi not enough

Everything positive for Barca was funnelled through Messi – he had more shots in the first half than the entire Atleti team. After three games without a goal he reached his milestone with class, but Diego Simeone's men were still able to snatch a point.

Costa's miserable outing

After narrowly missing out on connecting with a teasing Carrasco free-kick in the sixth minute, Costa put the ball in the net at the other end. His penalty was poor and he was fortunate VAR offered Atletico a second chance to equalise.

What's next?

Atleti are back in action at home to Real Mallorca on Friday, while Barcelona face a tricky trip to Villarreal on Sunday.

Saul Niguez urged Atletico Madrid to continue their good run of form after a 2-1 win over Deportivo Alaves in LaLiga on Saturday.

Atletico consolidated third spot in the table courtesy of their fourth straight win as Saul and Diego Costa, the latter via the penalty spot, scored at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Saul was pleased to get on the scoresheet and called for Atletico to keep pushing ahead of Tuesday's clash with Barcelona.

"I'm very happy to have scored the opener. Scoring without our fans feels totally different, but it gave us the lead. It also generated spaces because they were defending deep and it was hard," the midfielder said.

"When we went 1-0 up, they left more spaces and allowed us to attack them in different ways. In the first half we were up against a side with six defenders and everyone else in the middle of the pitch.

"Sometimes we didn't interpret correctly what had to be done, because we tried to attack them through the middle. There was more space down the wings.

"I think we didn't play badly in the first half despite being 0-0. I think we did quite well, but it's difficult to unravel the opposition when they have six defenders and are fresh. That happens to us and to everyone else.

"We're going to enjoy this good win. I think it's the first time we won four straight games this season. We're enjoying a positive streak and have to continue like this. If we do, we'll reach our goal."

While Joselu scored a late spot-kick for Alaves, Atletico are now four points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone talked up the importance of the win and is prepared for another difficult encounter at Camp Nou.

"The next game will be really tough, like every time we play in Barcelona," he said.

"Now it's time to rest and prepare, so that we arrive in the best possible shape."

Saul Niguez insisted Atletico Madrid remains his "home" despite transfer speculation, revealing he has never spoken to any club over a potential move elsewhere.

Saul signed a nine-year contract extension with Atleti in 2017, though the long-term deal has not stopped rumours about the Spain international's future in the capital.

Manchester United have been strongly linked with the midfielder, though he is unaware if anything has gone further than stories in the media.

Saul made clear how happy he is in Madrid as he aims to help Diego Simeone's squad seal a top-four finish in LaLiga this season.

"I see things on Instagram or in newspapers which you publish, but I haven't heard anything from any club," Saul told Radio Marca.

"I'm focused on finishing this season, achieving the objective [of finishing in the top four] and then dreaming about the Champions League.

"I have a long-term contract, which I signed because I want to stay here. I don't have any problem staying here because my family are here, it's my home.

"People say, 'come out and deny it', but then if you deny it and something happens, you look bad.

"I just stick to playing football and what has to happen will happen, I'm just focused on achieving Atletico's target, which is to be in the top four, and then try to get the most desired target of the season."

Atletico return to action on Sunday when they travel to Athletic Bilbao for their first fixture since the 2019-20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They have not played since a 3-2 extra-time win over Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League on March 11, a result that saw them eliminate the titleholders to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

Saul Niguez has made the big reveal about his "new club", which is the creation of a youth team in his home region of Alicante.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder had the rumour mill turning earlier this week when he posted a cryptic message on social media that read "New club: I'll announce [it] in three days".

Manchester United have long been linked with a move for the Spain midfielder, while Chelsea, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have also been among his reported suitors.

However, with six years to run on his Atletico contract and a reported €150million release clause, it always seemed a little unlikely Saul's news would be transfer-related.

And so it has proven to be, with the 25-year-old announcing the creation of Costa City Club along with his brother Aaron.

The structure of the Costa City project, which is being sponsored by Nike, will see teams comprised of boys and girls aged between four and 18.

Saul said: "We have been developing this exciting and beautiful project for several years and I am very happy to be able to present it and make it official today."

Atletico are due to return to LaLiga action following the suspension of top-flight football in Spain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with an away fixture at Athletic Bilbao on June 14.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez sent social media into overdrive with a cryptic tweet on Sunday.

Spain international Saul posted a graphic with the words: "New club. I'll announce it [in] three days."

Followers immediately thought an impending transfer was coming, but the 25-year-old has another six years left to run on a contract that includes a reported €150million release clause.

While reports in the Spanish media insist the tweet has nothing to do with Saul's future, it echoed Antoine Griezmann famously announcing his Atletico future in a documentary entitled 'La Decision' in 2018. Griezmann confirmed he would be remaining at the club, only to leave for Barcelona a year later.

It has also been claimed Saul is set to announce he has bought part of a club or even invested in an esports team.

So even though it is highly unlikely Saul will reveal he is leaving the Wanda Metropolitano just a week before LaLiga resumes following its suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, we look at who could be in the market for one of the world's best midfielders.

 

Manchester United

United have long been credited with an interest in the Atleti star, but they shelled out an initial £46.5m (€55m) on Bruno Fernandes in January. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Fernandes can form a formidable midfield partnership with Paul Pogba, but the Frenchman's future at Old Trafford remains a constant source speculation.

Manchester City

The Red Devils would face competition from local rivals City, though. Fernandinho is not getting any younger and spent much of the 2019-20 campaign at centre-back through necessity, and Pep Guardiola will be looking for a long-term successor who can anchor the club's midfield for the coming years.

Paris Saint-Germain

Any time an elite player is available, PSG will always be linked. The Ligue 1 champions have just completed the signing of Mauro Icardi for a reported €50m and having previously managed to get a UEFA investigation into their finances shut down, they will not be shy in splashing out further to improve their chances of getting their hands of the Champions League trophy.

Barcelona

With Ivan Rakitic expected to be on his way out, Barca's hunt for a new midfielder has reportedly had them looking in the direction of Juventus' Miralem Pjanic, though Arthur refused to be included as part of the deal. The Blaugrana have never been afraid to shell out huge amounts of money and LaLiga's defending champions would no doubt be in the race if Saul was available.

Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer has signed a new deal at Bayern and David Alaba is set to follow soon, but Thiago Alcantara has reportedly hesitated over extending a contract that is set to expire at the end of next season. Hansi Flick could therefore be in the market for an elite midfielder and Saul would fit the bill. However, Bayern have long maintained they will not spend over €100m on a player.

Other options

If Pjanic is on his way to Barca, and with Adrien Rabiot's future at Juve shrouded in doubt, the Serie A champions would surely see Saul as an ideal candidate to slot into their midfield.

Maurizio Sarri coached Jorginho at Napoli and Chelsea, though, and the Italy international is said to be a target for the Bianconeri. Should he leave Stamford Bridge, the Blues could see Saul as a great replacement.

Inter are reportedly pushing Barcelona for Antoine Griezmann to be included in a deal for Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez, 22, is heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga giants after starring for Inter.

But Inter could be looking for the Argentina international's replacement to be part of the same deal.

 

TOP STORY – INTER ASK BARCELONA FOR GRIEZMANN IN MARTINEZ DEAL

Inter have asked Barcelona for Griezmann if the LaLiga giants want Martinez, according to Sport.

Griezmann only arrived at Barca ahead of this season and has largely struggled, scoring 14 times in 37 games.

Martinez, meanwhile, has been a standout at Inter, netting 16 times in 31 appearances.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona may be considering their options. Cadena SER reports Real Sociedad forward Alexander Isak is an alternative should Barca not land Martinez or Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

- Manchester United are still looking at Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez. The Sun says the Premier League club would be willing to pay £70million (€80.4m) for the midfielder while giving the Spain international a bumper wage.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains a talking point. The Sun claims Arsenal and Chelsea are set to get the chance to sign the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona this season. It says Coutinho is available on another season-long loan or for around £75m (€86.2m).

- Barcelona know their priority sales this close season. Sport reports the LaLiga giants want to sell midfielders Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal, who are both out of contract in 2021.

- Perhaps Achraf Hakimi will stay at Borussia Dortmund. According to AS, the Bundesliga club want to extend the Real Madrid defender's stay beyond the end of this season, when his two-year loan spell expires.

- Diego Costa's time at Atletico Madrid may be up. Sport reports the LaLiga side are ready to bid farewell to the striker at season's end.

Barcelona are prepared to use Antoine Griezmann in a deal to land Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 28, has constantly been linked with a return to Camp Nou, but ended up staying at PSG during the last close season.

It seems Barcelona will pursue the Brazil international again and they may be prepared to offer Griezmann in a deal.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO OFFER GRIEZMANN TO PSG IN NEYMAR DEAL

Despite it proving such an ordeal to sign Griezmann in the first place, Barca will try to use him as a makeweight in a deal to land Neymar, according to Sky Sports.

The report says the Spanish giants are prepared to let Griezmann go just one season after signing him from Atletico Madrid, as they reportedly also target Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

Barca will try to sell the forward elsewhere if PSG are not interested, the story claims, with the Frenchman underwhelming since his switch to Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are apparently preparing for a battle with Germany. The Mirror reports Germany see Jurgen Klopp – contracted at Anfield until 2024 – as a successor to coach Joachim Low.

Manchester United remain interested in Erling Haaland. ESPN claims the Premier League club are again ready to compete for the forward's services with Real Madrid if the Norway international decides to leave Borussia Dortmund.

- Will Gareth Bale remain at Real Madrid? The Mirror suggests the Wales international is ready to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his differences with coach Zinedine Zidane.

Saul Niguez is apparently wanted in the Premier League. AS says Man United are willing to pay around £71million (€80m) for the Atletico midfielder, who has a release clause of £132.5m (€150m).

Barcelona may be prepared to sell players this close season, but Arthur will not be among them. Sport reports the Spanish champions see the midfielder as a key player. Meanwhile, it is also claimed Gent star Jonathan David has been offered to the Blaugrana.

Juventus have reportedly secured the futures of two players. Rai Sport understands Blaise Matuidi has extended his contract with Juve until 2021, while Marko Pjaca – who is on loan at Anderlecht – has agreed to a deal until 2023.

Real Madrid are reportedly preparing for a rebuild and Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane are their top transfer targets.

The LaLiga club appear set for a busy close season amid links to numerous players.

While Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is said to be a target, it seems Madrid have other priorities.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND, MANE TOP TARGETS FOR REAL MADRID

Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland and Liverpool star Mane are Real Madrid's top targets, according to the Daily Express.

The report says Aubameyang is also wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is behind Haaland and Mane.

Real Madrid were two points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Real Madrid and the LaLiga giants are tracking Sao Paulo midfielder Igor Gomes, according to AS. A Brazil youth international, Gomes, 21, has been compared to former AC Milan star Kaka.

- Ousmane Dembele is seemingly unwanted at Barcelona and could be set for a move. Sport reports Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp want Dembele, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga club.

- Barcelona are continuing their bid to land Lautaro Martinez. Sport claims left-back Junior Firpo could be part of a deal to bring the Inter star to Camp Nou. It says Inter, and Roma, are interested in the left-back and Barca would want the €18million they paid Real Betis for Junior last year.

- Manchester United could be set to make a big move this close season. The Daily Star reports the Premier League club are confident of landing Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez for a club-record £135m (€150.8m).

- Perhaps Manchester United had another target. However, Sport says Real Madrid have told United that midfielder Federico Valverde is worth his incredible release clause – £448m (€500m).

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan is loving life in Rome. The Daily Mail reports the midfielder, who is on loan at Roma from Arsenal, wants to stay at the club and hopes they can agree to a €11.2m (£10m) deal.

FIFA 20 players building their Ultimate Team squads around Spaniards will be intrigued by the latest Team of the Week, with four selected in a starting XI that also includes Philippe Coutinho.

Dani Carvajal impressed in El Clasico at the weekend, with the Real Madrid right-back slotting into a defence in front of Crystal Palace's Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Marcos Alonso is in the team after returning to form with Chelsea, the full-back scoring both goals as the Blues drew with Bournemouth.

The other Spaniard in the starting line-up is Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez, while Ismaila Sarr takes a place on the bench after he stole the show in Watford's shock 3-0 win over Liverpool, whose 44-match unbeaten run in the Premier League ended abruptly at Vicarage Road.

Below, we have the entire squad.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace) – 82

RB: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) – 87

CB: Kostas Manolas (Roma) – 86

LB: Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 84

RM: Calvin Stengs (AZ) – 84

CM: Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – 87

LWB: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – 86

LW: Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich) – 89

LM: Fabian Orellana (Eibar) – 84

ST: Duvan Zapata (Atalanta) – 86

ST: Dario Benedetto (Marseille) – 84

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Predrag Rajkovic (Reims) – 79

LB: Marcal (Lyon) – 81

RM: Ismaila Sarr (Watford) – 82

CM: Teji Savanier (Montpellier) – 82

CF: Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres) – 83

ST: Nikola Kalinic (Roma) – 82

ST: Dieumerci Mbokani (Antwerp) – 82

RESERVES

RB: Matias Rodriguez (Deportes Nunoa) – 78

LM: Danny Blum (Bochum) – 78

ST: Klauss (LASK) – 77

GK: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs) – 75

LF: Max Burgess (Western United) – 73

Saul Niguez accepts Atletico Madrid need to find a way to resolve their issues away from home after drawing 1-1 at rock-bottom Espanyol in LaLiga on Sunday.

Saul equalised with a stunning strike at the start of the second half after an early Stefan Savic own goal had put Espanyol in front.

Jan Oblak tipped a Victor Sanchez strike against the crossbar with a fine save to ensure Atletico secured a point.

The result means Atletico have won just one of their past 10 away matches in the league, leaving them well behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Niguez says they must raise their game on the road.

"It's taking a lot this year to win away from home," he told Movistar. "The support of our fans at home shows a lot.

"We must learn. The days go by and we must learn that many points can be gathered away from home."

Diego Simeone also addressed Atletico's poor away form, though he seemed relaxed and confident they will turn it around.

"We have to win away from home," he said. "We care about the game we have in the Wanda Metropolitano and then we will take care of winning the games that we have away from home.

"When the matches start, we try to win three points. In these last matches [against Valencia, Granada, Villarreal and Espanyol], we have won two and drawn two.

"We are giving the maximum - we hope it will catch up with us. To enter Champions League or save yourself [from relegation], you need to give everything to compete."

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