We have signed a proven winner, say Chelsea as they finally seal loan deal for Saul Niguez

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea say they have signed a ‘proven winner’ in Saul Niguez, who has been tipped to drive their five-pronged pursuit of silverware this season.

The Spain international secured a last-minute loan move from Atletico Madrid last night, which Marina Granovskaia believes has handed Thomas Tuchel a “complete” squad to meet the demands of Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea’s manager is expected to build on last season’s Champions League triumph by delivering the Premier League title after the club record £97.5million signing of Romelu Lukaku and the addition Saul.

And Chelsea chief Granovskaia has made it clear that Tuchel must challenge on all fronts – including the defence of their European crown and the Club World Cup later this year.

She 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.”

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Midfielder, Saul, added: “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!”

While the late arrival of Saul, which was not confirmed until after the transfer window had shut at 11pm last night, was a major boost to Tuchel, he had to accept disappointment in his pursuit of Jules Kounde.

The France international was Chelsea’s top defensive target, but Sevilla’s refusal to drop below their £60m asking price killed any hopes of getting a deal done yesterday.

Instead Chelsea focussed their attention on Saul in a deal that looked in danger of collapsing on a number of occasions, with Atletico preferring a permanent transfer and also wanting to bring in a replacement.

A breakthrough in negotiations was reached later in the afternoon, but even as paperwork was being concluded as the deadline approached, there were suggestions in Spain that the deal could fall through due to Atletico’s stalled bid to sign Antoine Griezmann.

Chelsea will pay a loan fee of around £3.4m and have the option to buy Saul for £30m next summer. Tuchel sees him as a player who can make an immediate impact on a team were crowned champions of Europe last season.

The 26-year-old arrives on the back of helping Atletico to the Spanish title last season. He has also won the Europa League twice, as well as the Spanish Cup.

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