Real Madrid are ready for another transfer battle with Barcelona after Marca reported that Los Blancos had identified Andre Gomes as a top target to bolster their midfield ahead of the new season. The Champions League winners see the 22-year-old star as the perfect long-term replacement for veteran Luka Modric but face stiff competition from Juventus, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain.
Gomes has become one of the hottest properties in the current transfer window after impressing during his first two seasons at Valencia. The La Liga side would like to keep him at Mestalla but, having failed to qualify for the Champions League, Marca reports that they could negotiate his departure for a fee of around €65m (£55.1m, $72.5m).
Sky Sports had earlier reported that Valencia had turned down an initial transfer proposal from Chelsea worth £32m.
Juventus have also been linked with his services amid the uncertain future of Paul Pogba, but in recent days Catalan publication Sport and Mundo Deportivo have claimed that Barcelona would eventually become the front runners to win the race for his signature as the La Liga giants want to make him their marquee signing of the summer.
Earlier this week Sport boosted the hopes of the Catalans in the transfer race after revealing that Jose Mourinho had ruled out Manchester United in the scramble despite the Red Devils' reported interest in his services. But Marca now reports Barcelona face an even bigger competition from fierce rivals Real Madrid.
The two La Liga giants have already locked horns in two big battles in the current transfer window after Los Blancos had reportedly tried to hijack their rivals' advance talks with Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus and Las Palmas centre-back Mauricio Lemos.
Marca predicts a third battle is looming for Gomes after claiming the Valencia midifielder is the "player with more options to become" Real Madrid's first signing of the summer.
The Spanish publication claims that Los Blancos have been tracking his development for a while and have earmarked him as an ideal fit to replace 30-year-old Luka Modric in the long term. Marca reports the signing of the Portuguese international would rule out a move for N'Golo Kante but added Paul Pogba was still on Zidane's shopping list.