Liverpool midfielder Cameron Brannagan is a shock target for Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona amid speculation the Primera Division pair are set to go to war over the youngster's signature this summer.
According to Ed Malyon of the Mirror, Los Blancos have been on the 20-year-old's trail for at least 18 months, and the European champions are said to have a deal worth £5.5 million plus add-ons at the ready.
However, Barcelona's attraction to the playmaker means any suitor may be forced to pay more than that fee in a bid to convince the Merseysiders into selling one of their brightest up-and-coming talents.
In a post that seemed too well-timed to be mere coincidence, however, Brannagan took to his official Instagram account on Friday with an image of him hugging manager Jurgen Klopp, who handed him his Premier League debut:
The post also featured a very simple caption of the colour red, which one could easily interpret as a sign of the player's allegiances to Anfield.
Malyon noted Barcelona have actually been keeping tabs on Brannagan for longer than Real but added their limited resources at present may prevent them from making such a luxurious purchase.
Brannagan has spent his entire career with Liverpool despite being raised in Manchester, and it's been more than a decade since he signed his first youth contract with the Merseyside giants at the age of seven.
The youngster played the entire 90 minutes in Liverpool's season-ending 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion in May and took to Twitter to express his joy after such a landmark event in his career:
The attacking midfielder is making fine progress through the ranks of his boyhood club, and although the temptations of a move to Spain are clear, it appears he's focused on Liverpool success for the time being.
That being said, the attention from the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou does mean Klopp may find his hand forced in gifting the prospect first-team minutes, lest he feel he can develop his trade elsewhere.
Should the German refuse to give his starlet the attention he may one day feel he deserves, he could be at risk of losing out on his services altogether.
For now, Brannagan has two years remaining on his current contract and is on a rocketing trajectory with Liverpool, but the prying eyes of Barca and Real are sure to hang a hint of uncertainty on his position.