Real Madrid are interested in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti and ready to launch a £32m offer to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to reports in Italy.
The diminutive Italian left boyhood club Pescara for the Ligue 1 champions last summer for a modest fee of £12m and has immediately taken to life in Paris, playing an influential role in Laurent Blanc's midfield.
La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that after Monaco's James Rodriguez and Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos, Verratti has become Real Madrid's third major target for the transfer market – as Los Blancos' main objective is to strengthen their midfield.
The report claims that Real made initial contact with PSG through the player's agent, Donato di Campli, who reportedly travelled to Madrid to meet up with Los Blancos' leaders in early July, and they have made their first offer for the Italy international.
It is thought that Verratti is among Carlo Ancelotti's top targets as he signed him for PSG from Pescara during his time as coach at the French club. The Parisians, meanwhile, are keeping tabs on Real Madrid target Paul Pogba and could sell Verratti to free up room in the quad.
However, Real know it will be difficult to persuade Verratti, who has already expressed a preference for a return to Italy.