Real Madrid reportedly hold the aces over Barcelona in the race to sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Spanish journal Mundo Deportivo have reported that on-loan Atletico Madrid defender Theo Hernandez prefers a move to Real Madrid instead of Barcelona ahead of what looks to be a certain summer departure from Los Rojiblancos.

Hernandez has established himself as one of the most exciting young prospects in Spain this season, having impressed on loan at newly promoted Alaves. The minnows themselves have enjoyed a stellar campaign on their return to the Spanish top flight as they sit 11th in the La Liga table in addition to reaching the Copa Del Rey final.

Hernandez, in particular, has been one of the stars for the Basque club, having become a mainstay at left-back for the side. The Atletico Madrid academy product has played 27 times in La Liga for Alaves, being solid at the back with his marauding runs on the left flank also producing a return of 4 assists.

With Hernandez being in such impressive form this season, he is starting to become a highly sought after player, not just in Spain, but in England as well. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s interest in him is well documented, but Liverpool are also reportedly keen on signing him in the summer.

The race to sign Hernandez though, seems to be between Real Madrid and Barcelona with the two La Liga heavyweights seemingly the only two options for the French under-20 international.

Real Madrid currently have Marcelo as the overwhelming first-choice to man the left side of their defence. But Zinedine Zidane has reportedly earmarked Hernandez as the long-term successor to the Brazilian fullback and is willing to break Los Blancos’ “non-aggression pact” with Atletico to land the highly-rated teenager.

Meanwhile, at Barcelona, Jordi Alba is being linked with a summer exit from Camp Nou after what has been an underwhelming 2016/17 campaign for the Spaniard. Should Alba be moved on at the end of the season, Hernandez will have the chance to become a mainstay for the Catalan club.

Atletico Madrid, though, are not in favour of Hernandez leaving the club in the summer, with Diego Simeone even holding talks with the player regarding his future. However, the report states that the youngster has his heart set on leaving Atletico at the end of the season.

Additionally, the report also mentions that Hernandez prefers a move to Atletico’s bitter rivals Real Madrid even though it was widely believed that he preferred a switch to Camp Nou instead. However, Real Madrid have a five-year €35 million contract on offer, and have reached a verbal agreement with the teenager.

Hernandez’s release clause stands at €24 million and both Real Madrid and Barcelona are willing to pay it secure his services. It now remains to be seen if either Atletico or Barcelona can persuade the 19-year-old to change his stance on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu with the summer transfer window fast approaching.

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