Atletico Madrid are set to offer £20m plus striker Leo Baptistao for Juan Manuel Iturbe, in the hope of signing the Argentine wonderkid ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Manager Diego Simeone is desperately looking for attacking additions following the departures of Diego Costa and David Villa. Although Atletico are reportedly in advanced negotiations to secure both Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic and Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo, they have also earmarked Iturbe as a top priority.
The 21-year-old Hellas Verona star is one of the most promising young talents around world football and is being dubbed the new Lionel Messi. As well as Liverpool and Arsenal, he has attracted the attention of Real Madrid and Juventus.
According to AS, the Premier League giants are now out of the running while Atletico are in pole position.
Porto sent Iturbe on loan to Verona last season and the Serie A outfit decided to make his move permanent in May for £12m – with the player scoring eight goals and grabbing four assists in 33 league appearances.
However, Verona's intention was always to sell Iturbe once his value reached a certain range.
Earlier in June, club sporting director Sean Sogliano already revealed they were open to listening offers for Iturbe, saying "he knows that if an offer that we consider fair arrives then he will leave.
"However, as our president said, if that offer doesn't arrive then he will remain with us next season and we will all be delighted."
According to Italian sources, Hellas have already turned down one bid from Juventus of close to £20m. However AS understands that Atletico's latest bid could convince the Serie A side to part with their prized asset.