Andrea Belotti has a €100 million release clause and is in demand by giant clubs around Europe.
Real Madrid's interest in Torino marksman Andrea Belotti has been confirmed, after club President Urbano Cairo revealed that counterpart Florentino Perez was reportedly keen on the Italian.
Quoted in Tuttosport, Cairo explained that when the two had discussed business over dinner at an awards ceremony in Milan, talks over the striker had forced the Real Madrid President to 'prick his ears' when he was informed on a potential release clause.
Cairo stated: "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.
"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."
The news comes as an intriguing development, with rumours the Madrid club are set for a massive player shake-up in the coming months, with Perez set to overhaul the squad as Los Blancos struggle to keep pace with leaders Barcelona in La Liga.
With boss Zinedine Zidane facing his first real test in charge, new faces are reportedly being sought, and it appears Belotti's lofty price tag is something of a dangling carrot for Perez.
Now in his third season with Torino, 23-year-old Belotti spiked interest in Europe's top clubs with his goal tally last season, scoring 26 times - the first player under 24 to score the same amount of goals in an Italian campaign since Andriy Shevchenko in 2000.
Belotti has a €100m release clause in his contract, a figure that was not met by any potential suitors this past summer.
That may change with the interest of Real Madrid, but Torino's president is keen to hold onto his star man.
"Belotti is an exceptional lad and he's loved by everybody," Cairo said. "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."