Chelsea could be beaten to a deal for Torino forward Andrea Belotti after the Serie A club confirmed talks with Real Madrid.
Belotti, 23, attracted attention from across Europe last summer after scoring 32 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions last term.
The Italian has a release clause of £89million written into his contract and both Manchester United and Chelsea considered triggering it.
However, it looks as though Real Madrid now lead the race for the Italian after Torino confirmed talks with the La Liga giants about the striker.
‘I was eating dinner with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and we were talking about contracts of players with huge release clauses and I mentioned Belotti,’ confirmed Torino president Urbano Cairo.
‘As soon as he heard of the clause for Belotti, who he didn’t know, it pricked his ears.
‘If the clause had only been £20m, he wouldn’t have been interested.
‘Belotti is an exceptional lad and he’s loved by everybody. He’s always kept his feet on the ground and remained humble, even when he’s had a £100m price tag slapped on him.
‘He needs to be relaxed and he told me that he has not even thought about (the clause) even when he put pen to paper on his new contract.’