Real Madrid are set to face competition from local rivals Atletico Madrid in the race to sign Spanish midfielder Luis Alberto from SS Lazio.

According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have entered the race for the transfer for Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto, who is also a target for Real Madrid.

Alberto moved to Lazio in the summer of 2016 after an ill-fated spell with Premier League outfit Liverpool and has been able to resurrect his career in the Italian capital. In fact, the 28-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers on display over the years in Serie A, racking up 175 appearances for the Biancocelesti, in which he has 35 goals and 48 assists.

Alberto, though, has his sights set on greener pastures this summer and has informed Lazio of his wishes to leave the club. This has now led to an interest in the midfielder from two of Spain’s biggest clubs in Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid’s need to sign a new central midfielder is more than justified as Luka Modric, who has been an ever-present in the side for the good part of the last decade, is entering the final stage of his career and needs to be phased out slowly. Add to it, Toni Kroos is also into his thirties and needs his game-time to be managed better as well.

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Furthermore, with there being doubts surrounding the futures of Isco and Dani Ceballos, who has returned from a disappointing loan spell at Arsenal, it becomes necessary that Real Madrid add a new central midfielder to their ranks. Manager Carlo Ancelotti has several options on his mind, including Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele, while Alberto also has emerged as a viable target now.

However, Real Madrid will have to stave off competition from neighbours, and reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid to sign Alberto from Lazio. The Rojiblancos are in the market for a new midfielder as well, as they prepare to offload academy graduate Saul Niguez in the summer, with the Spanish international attracting plenty of interest from the Premier League.

Atletico Madrid are hoping to get at least €50 million from the sale of Saul, which they plan to use to fund a move for Alberto, who is valued at €60 million by Lazio, the report adds. But with Real Madrid also very much in the fray for the former Barcelona B midfielder, it remains to be seen who comes out on top in the race for the 28-year-old’s signing.

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