Real Madrid have joined Europe's elite - including Manchester City - in the race to land Uruguayan wonderkid Darwin Nunez from Benfica, as the 21-year-old continues to thrive in Portugal.
The youngster joined the Eagles in September 2020 from Spanish side Almeria in a deal worth €24m, and he has made an instant impact in his new home, most significantly hitting a hat-trick against Lech Poznan in the Europa League group stages.
Nunez has also excelled in Liga NOS, scoring one goal in seven appearances, but amazingly laying on a huge five assists for his teammates in that time. And this quick adaptation to the demands of elite football has captured the attention of Europe's biggest clubs.
According to Spanish outlet fichajes.net, Nunez's development is now attracting interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid, while Barcelona and Italian outfit Inter are also weighing up a move for the talented starlet.
Madrid are considering splashing the cash on the striker as their nightmare decision to sign forward Luka Jovic continues to haunt them. The 22-year-old joined Los Blancos for €60m in the summer of 2019, but that investment has returned only two league goals, along with a series of concerning injury problems.
The Serbian forward has failed to convince coach Zinedine Zidane, and time is running out for Jovic to turn his miserable fortunes around. With that in mind, Madrid may be ready to cut their losses, and try again with a switch for Nunez.
Zidane will be facing competition from the Premier League, though. Man City are preparing for life after Sergio Aguero, and the Citizens are following Nunez's progress closely, aware that their Argentinian forward's career is coming to its end.
Man City do have Gabriel Jesus at their disposal, but Guardiola will be determined to bolster his options in the summer of 2021, and Nunez could be the man to fill Aguero's boots from next season.
Brace yourselves - a European battle is bubbling away, ready to erupt.