Liverpool and Real Madrid have both scouted a highly-rated left-back ahead of a possible £20.5million move this summer.
The Reds and Real have both reportedly watched Atletico Madrid’s left-back Theo Hernandez and could trigger his release clause this summer.
The left-back has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign on loan at newly promoted Alaves this year and his performances haven’t gone unnoticed.
The younger brother of Atleti’s centre-back Lucas has been a key performer for the La Liga side, helping them into the Copa Del Rey final and to a mid-table finish.
Hernandez’s impressive form has attracted the attention of the European’s elite, with the defender available at a bargain price.
His Atletico contract has a release clause of just €24million (currently £20.5m), which is a reasonable fee for one Europe’s most promising youngsters in his position.
Reports in Spain suggest that Real Madrid are set to trigger the clause after manager Zinedine Zidane pinpointed the 19-year-old as an ideal candidate to back up Marcelo at the Bernabeu.
If Real were to bid for the full-back, it would end a historic non-aggression pact between the two clubs, with Atletico tending to flatly refuse any dealings with their cross-town rivals.
The policy in place has seen Real’s offers for stars such as Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Diego Forlan all rejected instantly.
The agreement between the Madrid neighbours, however, could work in Liverpool’s favour, who are expected to strengthen their left-back options in the summer.
Midfielder James Milner has played the majority of the Premier League campaign at left-back for the Reds but, despite his impressive performances, Jurgen Klopp is keen to add a natural left-footed full-back to his ranks.
Cadena Ser reported that the Reds scouted the youngster last month and appear to be alongside Madrid at the top of the interested queue.