Chelsea have decided against triggering a buy option in Saul Niguez’s loan agreement, with the midfielder returning to his parent club Atletico Madrid.

Saul joined Chelsea on deadline final day of the 2021 summer transfer window on an initial season-long loan. The agreement included a £3.4m loan fee with an option for the player permanently for £30m.

However, things didn’t exactly go to plan as the Spain international struggled to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, enduring a poor debut against Aston Villa and being hauled off at half-time before tumbling down the midfield pecking order.

Although he did eventually settle and produce some more influential displays, Saul was never more than a reliable rotation option for head coach Thomas Tuchel in midfield and at wing-back as he made just 12 starts in 23 appearances.

It was widely expected that the 27-year-old would return to Atletico Madrid at the end of his loan, and Chelsea have now confirmed they will not exercise their option to buy the player.

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