Real Madrid have reportedly "made a firm offer" for Schalke star Leroy Sane in a bid to snap up the talented youngster ahead of Barcelona.
According to Marca's Jose Felix Diaz, Los Blancos are in the driving seat to sign the 20-year-old attacker—with Barca, Arsenal and Liverpool all interested—as they have put in a bid for him.
Los Blancos need to act fast to snap him up, as the club's two-window transfer ban would scupper any potential move in the summer—Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe and Dean Jones recently discussed a number of Madrid moves under threat because of the sanction:
Sane is unlikely to come cheap with his release clause a reported €39 million (£29.5 million), per Diaz.
That is a hefty sum for such a young player, but the German international has proven that he has the potential to be a superstar.
This season in the Bundesliga he has scored four times and provided four assists in 17 appearances, a decent return considering he has played from the bench six times, per WhoScored.com.
Furthermore, no other young player in Europe's top leagues has been more influential in attacking terms than Sane, per Squawka Dave:
Statman Dave @StatmanDave
No player U21 in Europe's top 5 leagues has been directly involved in more goals (8) than Leroy Sané this season. https://t.co/rXVuPcYKM72016-1-14 17:02:03
As a forward capable of playing up front or on either flank, he could be the ideal long-term successor for Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese set to turn 31 in February and heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, per Sky Sports' Guillem Balague.
Sane is some prospect, and although he will be expensive, Real can afford to snap him up and are clearly moving to get him on their books as soon as possible.
Elsewhere, Real are reportedly targeting Wolfsburg's Ricardo Rodriguez to act as much-needed cover and competition for Marcelo at left-back.
The Swiss defender "is considered the best option to compete with Marcelo," but he could cost as much as €35 million (£26.5 million), per Santiago Siguero in Marca.
However, the Spanish giants may well be forced to pay out for the 23-year-old Rodriguez, as they need a better back-up for Marcelo.
A very accomplished left-back both going forward and in defence, Rodriguez would be an excellent addition to Zinedine Zidane's squad, and given his youth could be a long-term fixture at the club.