Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez has put an end to speculation over his future by committing himself to the La Liga outfit by signing a new bumper nine-year contract until 2026.
Saul will remain with the Rojiblancos as the club embark on a new chapter under manager Diego Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, prolonging his long affiliation with the club having entered the academy in 2007.
The midfielder was already on a contract until 2021, but he has moved to extend it by another five years to quash all rumours of a move to either Manchester United or Barcelona this summer.
Saul said: ‘I’m very happy because Atletico are my family and there is no better place that I could be.
The talented 22-year-old is delighted with the faith shown in him by the club, adding: ‘I will work just as always, to the maximum in order to develop my game on the pitch and to repay the confidence placed in me.
‘I want to thank all of my team-mates and the coaching staff for their daily support to help make me the player I am.’
Both United and Barcelona had been monitoring Saul at the European Under-21 Championships, where he scored five goals to inspire his country to the brink of more silverware.
Germany shocked the tournament favourites in the final on Friday night to lift the trophy, but Saul returns to Spain with his reputation enhanced, and Atletico have swiftly moved to improve his terms, which previously included a £71million buyout clause.
Saul made his Atletico B debut aged just 16 and his progression has been nothing short of spectacular; he made his first-team debut a year later, against Besiktas in the Europa League.
Diego Simeone opted to loan him out to Rayo Vallecano during the 2013-14 season, an experience which strengthened his development as Atletico won their first Spanish title since 1996.
The following season he made 35 appearances for the defending champions, scoring four goals as the side won the European Super Cup.
Since then, he has been a first-team regular under Simeone and for Spain’s Under 21s, with the player scooping the Golden Boot in Poland this summer.
With Atletico subject to a transfer ban until January, the club have moved to secure the services of Saul following striker Antoine Griezmann’s decision to sign a one-year contract extension last month.
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