Real Madrid have been offered the chance to hijack Barcelona's move for upcoming Las Palmas centre-back Mauricio Lemos, according to AS. The Spanish publication says the Uruguayan defender's agents have told Los Blancos the player is eager to leave the Canary Island outfit in the coming window, and advised the Champions League winners to battle their arch-enemies for the player's signature.
The 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp since last month when Local publication Canarias7 revealed Barcelona had launched a bid worth €4m ($5.7m) plus add-ons to secure the defender.
Las Palmas general director Toni Cruz later confirmed the club had turned down a proposal from the Catalans. Despite the player's release clause being set at €30m, Cruz later admitted the club could negotiate his departure for the right price.
Las Palmas Miguel Angel Ramirez then insisted that Barcelona's offerwas far from what they would expert for his services, despite signing the player from Rubin Kazan in April for around €2-3m. This followed Lemos enjoying an impressive second part of the season on loan at Quique Setien's side.
The Catalan publications said Barcelona have earmarked the player's signing as a priority following the departure of Marc Bartra to Borussia Dortmund. Luis Enrique's side are expected to sign a proven defender such as Samuel Umtiti this summer, but with Thomas Vermaelen's future uncertain they are after Lemos as one for the future.
But AS now suggests the reigning La Liga champions may face competition from their biggest rivals, as Real Madrid have been also offered the chance to sign the player.
AS claims Real Madrid are yet to make a decision, but are considering entering the race. With their Fifa transfer ban currently suspended, signing a player like Lemos will have them covered should it be reactivated in future. Los Blancos currently have Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez available, but the last two have been linked with a summer move away from the Santiago Bernabeu to their lack of playing time.
Furthermore, the report suggests that the relationship between Barcelona and Las Palmas is far from ideal as the Catalan club tried to block the Canary Islanders from getting the services of Lemos from Rubin Kazan on permanent basis, in order to get his signature on the cheap.