Real Madrid are closing in on the signing of Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic, jumping ahead of Clasico rivals Barcelona in the race to sign the Serbian international.
Jovic has provided 25 goals and seven assists for Frankfurt this season, with the Bundesliga outfit currently occupying fourth spot in the league, having also booked their place in the last four of the Europa League with a 2-0 second leg win over Benfica on Thursday night.
According to AS, Real have entered into advanced talks with the 21-year-old ahead of an expected summer switch, after sending scouts to watch almost all of his European games.
Jovic had been in Germany on a two-year loan from Thursday night's Portuguese Europa League opponents, but the day before that second leg tie, Frankfurt exercised their €6m option to buy.
Speaking to the club's official website upon the announcement, sporting director Fredi Bobic proclaimed: "Luka's development with us has been great to see. For us, there was never any doubt about wanting to bring him here permanently. He's a player with extraordinary abilities. It's important for us to sign him."
Despite those proclamations, it has long been understood that any triggering of this deal is likely to serve only as a way of accruing the maximum amount of money this summer.
Who's had the most disappointing run in this season's Champions League? https://t.co/o5TJSDe8sN— 90min (@90min_Football) April 19, 2019
Regardless of the player's newly negotiated contract running until June 2023, the club seem resigned to losing the player in 2019, and Madrid's instant talks with the player and his representatives appear to confirm this fact.
The Germans are likely to hold out for between €50m and €60m for the striker, with 20% of the fee going to former club Benfica.