Atletico Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of Monaco's attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar, who they want to become their marquee summer signing.
Lemar's performances for the principality club have made him a target for many clubs around Europe and Atleti are racing to get a deal done before the move can be hijacked by anyone else.
Director of Sport Andrea Berta has travelled to France for discussions about the 22-year-old's future. Lemar is part of the French squad for the World Cup and Atletico will aim to complete the transfer before the tournament begins.
AS claims that the Lemar deal is not dependent on the future of his French colleague Antoine Griezmann, who has been strongly linked with a move from Atletico to Barcelona.
Griezmann has confirmed that his future will also be decided before the World Cup. Atletico fear that the sale of Griezmann could damage their chances of signing Lemar, as Monaco would then demand more money for their young star.
Lemar had been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool in January but the Reds may drop their interest as they are expected to complete the signing of his international teammate Nabil Fekir from Lyon instead.
Lemar joined Monaco from Caen in 2015 and has since made 124 appearances for the club, scoring 22 goals.
He made his France debut in 2016 and this summer's World Cup will be his first major tournament with Les Bleus.