Real Madrid are reportedly looking at defensive options for next season and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez is among them.
Marca reports the Uruguayan is an alternative to Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos as Los Blancos consider how to strengthen the back line.
Atletico wouldn’t negotiate the sale of the defender with their capital city rivals, as has been their policy in recent seasons, so Madrid would have to pay Gimenez’s release clause of €65m.
Los Colchoneros recently revised Gimenez’s clause upwards as they moved to ward off interest in the player from across Europe, Madrid included.
His wages and contract were reassessed too, with the terms of the deal being extended to 2020 but Madrid could force a move regardless as it’s felt a player of Gimenez’s quality and age would be unlikely to cost less than €50m anyway.
Marquinhos, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and David Alaba – who has been used as a centre-back at Bayern Munich – are the other players being discussed, though Alaba only recently renewed at Bayern.
Barcelona are following all of those players as well and Laporte’s name has been scratched out because the broken ankle that will keep him on the sidelines until the summer.
Stones is also low on the list of Barca because of the problems British players often have in adapting to La Liga, and it’s thought Chelsea lead the way for the Everton man.
Marquinhos is the preferred target and would have been the subject of greater interest last summer from Madrid if Sergio Ramos had in the end quit the club for Manchester United.
A centre-back has been made a priority at Santiago Bernabeu as Pepe is now 33, Ramos has been struggling with injuries, and Raphael Varane’s development, it’s feared, has stalled.