Barcelona Face Competition From Fellow La Liga Giants in Bid to Sign Coveted Marseille Teenager
Barcelona reportedly face competition in their future efforts to land talented Marseille teenager Maxime Lopez as Clásico rivals Real Madrid are also said to have eyes for the highly thought of France Under-21 attacking midfielder.
According to Sport, Real have been alerted to Lopez, a player the Catalan publication describes as being 'like Andres Iniesta', because of Barça's interest in him first.
Zinedine Zidane's presence at the Bernabeu is suggested to be a big bonus for Real. The coach is a Marseille native like Lopez, while a couple of his sons are said to have played with the 19-year-old.
Yet Sport also points out that Barça are certainly not without contacts that could help them along, as legendary former Camp Nou goalkeeper and ex-director Andoni Zubizarreta is currently serving Director of Football at Stade Velodrome.
It is further highlighted that Lopez also counts €105m Barça signing Ousmane Dembele as one of his close friends as the pair of youngsters know each other France's junior international ranks.
On the pitch, it is Barcelona who have made the stronger start, sitting top of La Liga already and seemingly revitalised by new coach Ernesto Valverde.
While Barça have nine points from their opening three games, Real are playing catch up early on after an opening day win against Deportivo has been followed by successive draws against Valencia and Levante.
Each club won 3-0 in their opening Champions League group game this week, although Barça can claim to have made the stronger start in Europe as their comfortable win came against 2017 finalists Juventus. Real, on the other hand, were thoroughly expected to beat APOEL.