Real Madrid have reportedly rekindled their interest in Maxime Lopez and are ready for a summer duel with Barcelona for the Marseille playmaker.

According to Spanish publication Don Balon, Real Madrid have already earmarked the replacement for Toni Kroos, should the German leave the club in the summer. Los Blancos are planning to replace the midfielder with Marseille playmaker Maxime Lopez, who is also a summer target for Barcelona.

Maxime Lopez is another prodigious midfielder who has a considerable amount of experience under his belt at a young age. The 20-year-old already has 70 senior appearances for Marseille and has grown into a loved figure at the club. The midfielder has been a regular this season, with half of the 70 career senior matches coming in the current campaign.

Lopez has always been linked with the top clubs of Europe, from being touted to go to the Premier League – Arsenal and Liverpool were interested in the player during his breakout season, the 2016-17 campaign, – to being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona in the summer of 2017.

Looking at an opportunity? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Looking at an opportunity? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

It seems the two La Liga giants are at it again, with both being linked to the 20-year-old. Midfield could become a priority area of reinforcement come summer for both teams.

At Barcelona, heavy investment has been made to beef up the midfield. But, their recent shocking exit from the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Roma despite a 4-1 lead from the first-leg has raised many questions, one of them being Andres Iniesta’s future at the club.

The veteran is reportedly set to move to the Chinese Super League at the end of the season, which could see Barcelona delve into the transfer market for a midfielder.

Real Madrid, on the other hand, are actively seeking a replacement for Toni Kroos, who is touted to be heading towards the exit door in the summer. With the recent shift in their transfer policy, Maxime Lopez fits the bill. According to the report, Florentino Perez is well aware of Barcelona’s interest and is looking to one-up the arch-rivals.

The report also iterates that Maxime Lopez shares a very healthy relationship with Zinedine Zidane and his sons, which could prove to be pivotal in Real Madrid’s pursuit of the Marseille star. Another point would be the fact that Arthur is already being brought in by Barcelona to replace Andres Iniesta, which means Maxime Lopez would have to play second fiddle.

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