Real Madrid may block their former player Mario Hermoso joining Atletico Madrid from Espanyol, according to Marca.
A report in Cadena Cope earlier this week ‘negotiations are advanced’ for the player who had appeared set to follow Felipe Monteiro to Atleti, another defender who joined from FC Porto in a €20m deal.
The 23-year-old only joined the Catalan club in 2017 from Real Madrid in a €400k deal while he has a contract until 2020 with a €40m release clause in place.
It was discussed that a potential move to Atleti would only cost in the region of €20m but Madrid themselves possess a €15m buyback option and a 50% sell-on clause - meaning they could secure his signature for €7.5m.
Whilst Los Blancos had not appeared likely to secure that deal, the interest from their city neighbours may change their outlook.
Hermoso has won two caps for the Spain national team within the last year while he impressed for Espanyol across 35 first-team appearances this campaign.
Bayern Munich and Arsenal are the other two clubs who have been directly mentioned in relation to the Madrid-native, with both said to be seeking defensive reinforcements.
Hermoso previously spent a season on loan at Real Valladolid in La Liga 123.