Real Madrid are reportedly lining up a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, denting Arsenal and Manchester United’s chances of securing his signature.
Marca claims the Italy international is high on the wishlist of head coach and compatriot Carlo Ancelotti, and Los Blancos could make him one of the first acquisitions of an extensive summer recruitment drive, having missed out on him one year ago.
It represents a setback for the Gunners and Red Devils who, according to the Daily Star, are on the trail of the 22-year-old.
An ever-present in Laurent Blanc’s team this term, he has made 42 appearances in all competitions, picking up 16 yellow cards along the way.
He was part of PSG’s winning team against Chelsea in the Champions League last 16, when Jose Mourinho’s men went down to a surprise defeat in west London.
While Arsenal are blessed with a number of flair players in midfield, Verratti could be seen as a replacement for one of ageing duo Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky.
United are still expected to add to their engine room despite the emergence of Spaniard Ander Herrera since the turn of the year.