Liverpool and Arsenal have suffered a huge set-back in their battle to sign Mathieu Valbuena after the Marseille star revealed he would rather move to Atletico Madrid than to one of the Premier League giants.
After trying to secure the services of the French international during the January window, recent reports claimed both managers Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger will renew their attempts to sign the player in the summer with Valbuena looking to move away.
The Marseille playmaker admitted he has been in contact with other clubs regarding a summer move but it would appear neither Premier League side are his preferred destination.
"Schalke and Zenit St Petersburg are big teams, but the team that I like is Atletico Madrid because it is a Spanish club and I have Spanish origins. In addition, they play really well," he revealed in an interview with French TV BeIN Sport.
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder is looking for an experience abroad after eight years at Marseille. The French international had offers to move away during the January window but he opted to stay in Ligue 1 until the end of the season to boost his chances of making the trip to Brazil for this summer's World Cup with Didier Deschamps' squad.
Despite having a contract until 2017, reports in France suggest that Marseille will let him go for a fee of around £10m.
After failing to secure Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka in January, Rodgers is looking to bolster his squad with a versatile playmaker like Valbuena.
Meanwhile, Wenger remains keen on the player who he believes can operate as consistent cover for his four attacking positions, - given his ability to play on both sides of midfield, in the middle and also further forward.
This season he has started 22 Ligue 1 games for Marseille, grabbing seven assists and scoring two goals.