REAL MADRID and Barcelona are understood to be going head-to-head to sign Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.
The arch-rivals are reportedly trying to broker a deal with both the Bundesliga side and the player but also face competition from Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Barca have made an agreement with Jovic, although this has been denied by the Catalan club.
However, fellow German outlet Bild believe it is Real Madrid that are in the ascendancy and have already put a £40million bid in to Frankfurt.
Jovic, 21, is coming towards the end of his two-year loan at Frankfurt from parent club Benfica and has been watched by scouts from the likes of Liverpool, Barca and Bayern this term.
But the Bundesliga club are expected to exercise their option to buy him this summer for a figure believed to be around £8m – then they may well immediately sell him on for a big profit.
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The Serbian striker – who featured against Brazil at the World Cup – has seen his value rocket this season as he sits top of the goalscoring charts in Germany’s top flight.
He has 14 goals in 19 games this term and nets on average every 94 minutes. He has also chipped in with three assists and scored five goals in the Europa League group stages.
Jovic made a name for himself in October when he became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score five goals in one match, in a thrilling 7-1 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Barcelona see Jovic as a long-term replacement to Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay striker is now 32 and admitted it is normal that the club are looking for his successor.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will surely be looking at finding the man to fill Karim Benzema’s shoes in the coming years with the Frenchman now 31.