Former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara has reportedly emerged as a top transfer target for reigning European champions Real Madrid.

According to a report from Spanish outlet Don Balon, Real Madrid are planning an €80 million bid to try and lure former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich this summer.

The 27-year-old Thiago is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and went on to win a number of titles and honours between 2009 and 2013 before joining Bayern in 2013 for a fee of £21.6 million.

Since moving to Germany, Thiago has featured 155 times for Bayern in all competitions, netting 26 goals and setting up 27 more. The former Barcelona midfielder has won the Bundesliga title in each of his five seasons with Die Roten and scored in their 5-0 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt on their way to lifting the DFL Supercup earlier this month.

The Spanish international had signed a new contract with the club only last year, extending his stay till 2021. While the German champions have ruled out a sale, having already let go of another midfielder – Arturo Vidal, this summer, it is believed that a big offer will force them into reconsidering their stance, which is exactly what Real Madrid are plotting for the Barcelona academy graduate.

Thiago too, might be keen on taking up a new challenge, with competition for places in the middle of the park increasing at the Allianz Arena, following the arrival of Leon Goretzka this summer, to add to the existing contingent of Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Javi Martinez, Sebastian Rudy and Renato Sanches.

Is it that way to Madrid? (Photo courtesy - Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Is it that way to Madrid? (Photo courtesy – Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Real Madrid are in the market for a new central midfielder, with new manager Julen Lopetegui keen on signing a top class replacement for Mateo Kovacic, who has moved to Chelsea on a season-long loan deal.

And the Basque manager has identified Thiago as his preferred target, having worked with the 27-year-old former Barcelona superstar during his managerial stint with the Spain national team.

The Merengues do have quality operators like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco and Casemiro at their disposal, along with young midfielders Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente. However, the new Real Madrid manager seeks further reinforcements and believes a player of Thiago’s experience and quality will be a huge asset to the team.

As a result, he has asked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to launch an offer at the earliest. It is being claimed that Bayern value the 27-year-old former Barcelona man at €80 million.

With the transfer window set to close in just over a week, Real Madrid will have to act swiftly if they are to secure the signing of the former Barcelona superstar. It remains to be seen, however, if they will be able to convince the German champions to part with their midfield mainstay this summer.

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