Atletico Madrid favourites for Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu

Atletico de Madrid lead the race to sign Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu, according to Marca.

The first news of Atleti’s interest in the highly-rated central defender came in February in both Marca and Diario AS, claiming that there had already been contact between the clubs.

A report in Sky Sports from January claimed Southampton were interested in a deal while a report in Diario de Valladolid from November claimed the defender had emerged as a transfer target for English giants Manchester United.

The player’s agent is the father of United playmaker Juan Mata and the Red Devils have been alerted to his €12m release clause – viewed as affordable, and the club have extensively scouted the 20-year-old.

The central defender’s contract at Valladolid runs through until 2022 having been penned back in May, while he is yet to be capped for the Ghanaian national team.

He is viewed as a rising star by the club but is also seen as still having a great deal of room for improvement, so is likely to stay at the Primera outfit until the end of the current campaign, at least.

Valladolid are concerned the player will depart for his release clause as they see his value as being far in excess of this amount, with the report adding his skillset is ‘tailored for English football’.

Everton, Newcastle and Norwich City are three other English clubs who have been linked to Salisu, who debuted for Valladolid this season after replacing Fernando Calero, who was sold to Espanyol last summer.

Tags Mohammed Salisu