Barcelona are reportedly in the lead over Real Madrid and several other top clubs in the pursuit of Olympique Marseille wonderkid Maxime Lopez.

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are pursuing the talented Marseille wonderkid Maxime Lopez. The Catalan outfit are reportedly leading the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and more in the chase for the French midfielder.

Maxime Lopez joined Olympique Marseille in 2010 from local club FC Burel. The player has since progressed rapidly and made his Lyon debut in the 2016-17 campaign – a season that served as his breakout campaign, with the teenager featuring in 30 league games, boasting a record of 3 goals and 7 assists from the midfield.

With 7 appearances so far in the present campaign and 3 assists to his name in the process, the 19-year-old seems to have locked down a regular place at the heart of the Marseille midfield. His displays, though, have started turning heads, with several top clubs linked with the player.

While the Premier League is filled with long-term admirers of the 19-year-old, it is Barcelona and Real Madrid that are being linked the most with the midfielder. For Real Madrid, the case is simple. Los Blancos see Lopez as the true heir to Luka Modric.

The Croatian is one of the most revered creative midfielders in world football. But, he is slowly starting to wane, which has seen Real bring in Dani Ceballos. However, Zidane sees compatriot Lopez as the man to truly replace Modric when the time comes.

Barcelona, though, seemed to have stolen a march on the other suitors. According to the report, a couple of Barcelona executives met with the player’s agent to let their interest be known and initiate talk of a potential move in the near future.

The meeting was held in August and, interestingly, was not to bring the player to Nou Camp in the recently concluded transfer window but for the next summer. The Catalans are well aware of the burgeoning interest in the 19-year-old.

Barcelona have received positive feedback from the agent and the player, who is reportedly a huge admirer of Andres Iniesta – a detail that may play into the club’s hands. According to the report, Lopez is open to a move to Camp Nou in the future and ‘would love to play for Barcelona’.

The player only recently signed a new long-term deal at Marseille – one that runs till 2021, a shrewd piece of business by the club’s technical director Andoni Zubizarreta. The 19-year-old is now fully focused on backing up his 2016-17 breakout season with another solid season, which would prove that he is not a one-season wonder.

Maxime is a local lad and the Marseille fans would love to see the 19-year-old be the torchbearer of the club’s future. But, it seems the groundwork for his future move is already being laid down and Barcelona seem to be a step ahead of other suitors at the present moment.

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