Real Madrid are reportedly looking to steal a march on Barcelona to sign Alvaro Odriozola this summer in a €40 million deal.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Don Balon, the race to sign Alvaro Odriozola in the summer transfer window is heating up. Barcelona appear set to lose out in pursuit of the Spaniard, who will cost €40 million, with Real Madrid looking to hijack their bitter rivals’ move.

Odriozola hasn’t looked back since breaking into the Real Sociedad first-team setup last year. Over the last 18 months or so, the youngster has only grown in stature at Anoeta, and is now a mainstay at the back. During this period, the player has also broken into the Spanish National Squad, and was even picked for their World Cup squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Now, the manager who handed him his debut for the national side is looking to bring him to his new club. Julen Lopetegui, who was recently appointed as the Real Madrid manager is eager to sign a right-back this summer, although Barcelona are also in pursuit of the 22-year-old.

At Real Madrid, Dani Carvajal is the only recognised senior right-back at Lopetegui’s disposal, with Achraf Hakimi being linked with a loan move to Borussia Dortmund. While Nacho will be an option due to his versatility, there will be no depth in the right-back slot for the upcoming season, which makes Odriozola a viable target.

Set to join Asensio at Real Madrid? (Photo courtesy - Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Set to join Asensio at Real Madrid? (Photo courtesy – Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s interest could possibly be stemming from the fact that Nelson Semedo struggled to settle or impress Ernesto Valverde last season. As a result, Sergi Roberto had to fill in as the right-back once again, even though he would have preferred to operate as a midfielder. Odriozola is, thus, the way to go for the Blaugrana this summer.

Barcelona have thus far, only been weighing up a move for the young Spaniard, and their uncertain position has given Real Madrid the impetus to pursue a move for him instead. In fact, Los Blancos have moved quickly to secure the player’s services, with an agreement believed to be close.

The fact that the suitors only have to pay his €40 million release clause means that the decision is out of Real Sociedad’s hands. Real Madrid are also prepared to pay the required sum, while Barcelona seem set to back out of a possible deal.

The report further suggests what widespread rumours have claimed – Odriozola’s transfer could be completed as early as the end of this week, with the unveiling at Real Madrid taking place next week. Indeed, with Spain’s World Cup campaign over, negotiations can be concluded quickly.

Odriozola is on the cusp of becoming a Real Madrid player soon. It will be interesting to see how he takes to his new surroundings when he eventually moves to the Bernabeu. As far as Barcelona are concerned, the La Liga champions will have to set their sights elsewhere for a right-back reinforcement.

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