Liverpool have been warned to act quickly if they are to secure Sporting CP ace Gelson Martins this summer as the winger is set to see his €60m release clause expire prior to the World Cup in Russia.
The Reds have long been linked with a move for the 22-year-old, who has risen to prominence in the Primeira Liga following a string of impressive performances. His form has also seen him become a target for fellow European powerhouses Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
According to Portuguese newspaper Record, via Sport Witness, a three-way battle for the winger - who has scored five goals in 21 league appearances this season - is set to unfold in the months leading up to the transfer window.
However, the report claims a pursuit of Martins is on a tight time scale as the release clause will end its course as soon as the World Cup starts, ensuring any negotiations thereafter are to be thrashed out with Sporting who are likely to demand a higher fee as a result.
Although a clause does exist for Sporting to pay the 22-year-old €1.5m in return for a €100m buy-out clause the move would be in vein as the clause would still expire prior to the summer tournament.
Whilst Martins is expected to impress in Russia, the question remains whether any of the three clubs value the 22-year-old at his buy-out clause price, with Liverpool having reportedly tabled €50m for the winger last summer - which was rejected by the Portuguese side.
Although national compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo rates Martins so highly that he has advised Real Madrid to secure the winger as soon as possible.