Atletico Madrid have joined Valencia and Spartak Moscow in the race to sign midfielder Bruno Soriano from relegated Villarreal.
In fact, according to Marca, there has already been contact between Atleti and the player, who would relish the chance of staying in La Primera next season with a team that has won three European titles in little more than two years.
Los Colchoneros boss Diego Simeone is believed to be an admirer of the 28-year-old, who has represented Spain four times having spent his entire career at El Madrigal, and sees his ability to also play at centre-back as an added bonus given Luis Perea and Alvaro Dominguez have both departed over the summer.
A problem, however, could be reaching agreement with Villarreal, who are aware Bruno is one of the most sought-after men in the transfer market, but Simeone may be prepared to let players go in the opposite direction to make the transfer more affordable.
Paulo Assuncao, Fran Merida, Diego Costa and Joel Robles are all names that could figure in any operation, with Villarreal keen to rebuild their squad as they seek a return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Atleti could face competition from Valencia, who have already had two formal offers rejected, the latest of which was last Monday and was understood to be in the region of €10.5m, while Villarreal President Fernando Roig has previously stated he would not sell Bruno for less than €14m.
There is also an offer of €12m on the table from Spartak Moscow, where former Valencia boss Unai Emery is in charge, but it remains to be seen if Valencia will now follow up their interest having reached a verbal agreement to sign Real Madrid’s Fernando Gago, who occupies the same role as Bruno.