Real Madrid are preparing themselves for the January transfer window by closely monitoring Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios.
The 25-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest players in South America and was a key part of Colombia's run to the round of16 at this summer's World Cup. He played in three of his side's four matches, including 120 minutes in the defeat to England.
According to Spanish outlet Marca, Real are keen on making a move for Barrios in January. The midfielder signed a new contract in July which includes a buy-out clause of around £21m, and it is believed that Real would not hesitate to meet Boca Juniors' asking price.
Barrios is one of his side's key players and has helped them to the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent of the Champions League. They defeated Palmeiras in the first leg of the final and, if they can maintain their lead, they could face Real in the Club World Cup in December.
The Colombian is primarily a defensive-minded midfielder, and Real are believed to prefer him to Marcos Llorente, who has struggled to impress during his time at the club. Marca claim that Real are desperate to improve their depth in the position, with only Casemiro believed to be good enough for the club.
He was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer, with Colombia outlet Antena 2 reporting that Tottenham had agreed a deal to sign Barrios, only for Boca Juniors to cancel discussions at the last minute.
El destino de Wilmar #Barrios es Inglaterra , el @SpursOfficial puso Primera y ya tiene todo acordado con el representante del Colombiano para q siga su carrera allí.— Luis Fregossi (@LuisFregossi) October 19, 2018
La oferta del club inglés a las oficinas del club está al caer. 23 M de Euros por La totalidad d su pase
Argentine journalist Luis Fregossi, who covers Boca Juniors for Mundo Boca Radio, also posted on Twitter earlier in October that Tottenham had finalised a deal for Barrios, but neither club has officially confirmed the deal.