Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is ready to leave the club, with Liverpool the frontrunners to sign the 21-year-old.
Reports in Spain suggest that representatives from Merseyside have met with the player and are keen to finalise a deal this January.
Ceballos’ former club Real Betis are also keen to resign the Spaniard, but transfer restrictions mean he would not be allowed to join the Andalusian side until the summer.
Liverpool are the most likely candidates due to their transfer budget, which was significantly boosted after the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m.
Ceballos has failed to mark himself out as one of Real Madrid’s prominent midfielders this season, but scored twice in an away victory over Alavés last year – his first league start for Los Blancos.
He was awarded the best player of the European Under-21 Championships 2017 in Poland, where Spain reached the competition’s final.
The Spanish champions had slammed an astronomical release clause of €500m on the player, but his lack of first team action could see him sold for far less, and roughly the same price he was purchased for.
However, a possibility remains that under-pressure manager Zinedine Zidane could block the move as he bids to retain the depth of his squad.
Ceballos had previously attracted interest from Serie A club Roma last December, but with Liverpool looking to fill the void of Coutinho, the Anfield club remain most likely to sign him at this stage.