Real Madrid are expected to make a move for Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko some time later this week, if reports from Spain are to be believed.

Los Blancos are playing the waiting game with the Frenchman as they expect Sissoko to put in a formal transfer request at Newcastle before they table their offer, according to a report in Spanish newspaper AS.

Various media reports from last month suggested that Zinedine Zidane has been impressed with his countryman’s performances for the France national team at the 2016 European Championships. Zidane, who is said to be looking to improve his midfield options at the Bernabeu, might have found his man in Sissoko.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Newcastle United player Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St James' Park on January 1, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Newcastle United player Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St James’ Park on January 1, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Frenchman’s original target was was said to be Marco Verratti. However, the PSG midfielder has since spoken to the French media, saying that he would like to stay at PSG. He said, “It’s very nice that an important club like Real Madrid is interested in me, but I have decided I want to win with PSG.”

Real Madrid have reportedly targeted Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic as an option but the La Liga side face stiff competition for the Serbian midfielder’s signature from Juventus. To add to that, newly appointed Blues boss Antonio Conte has expressed his desire to keep Matic at the Stamford Bridge this season.

These developments have made Sissoko the prime target for Real Madrid this summer as Zidane looks to strengthen his midfield options. Newcastle though, are unwilling to let their star midfielder leave cheaply and have put a £35 million price tag on him.

Real Madrid are unwilling to pay such an exorbitant price for a midfielder who is otherwise set to ply his trade in the Championship (the second tier of English football) in the upcoming season. Sissoko himself is said to be pushing for a move to a club with higher ambitions.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 10: Moussa Sissoko (L) of France competes for the ball against Raphael Guerreiro (C) and Nani (R) of Portugal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 10: Moussa Sissoko (L) of France competes for the ball against Raphael Guerreiro (C) and Nani (R) of Portugal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Real Madrid are thus waiting for Sissoko to make the first move and lodge a formal transfer request with his current employers. This would give Los Blancos the upper hand in the negotiations, as they look to bring down the £35 million price tag.

Zinedine Zidane is said to have made plans to push Sissoko’s transfer fee even further down. Real Madrid are said to be preparing a cash-plus-player deal for him, which would see two young Los Blancos players making the opposite journey from the Spanish capital to Tyneside, according to English newspaper Newcastle Chronicle.

However, Zidane already has top midfielders like Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Isco, James Rodriguez, Marco Asensio, and Mateo Kovacic in their ranks at the moment. It is difficult to see where Sissoko would fit into the Real Madrid system, if any of the aforementioned players do not make a move away from the Bernabeu.

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