Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernández claims that the club should re-sign Mario Hermoso if they enter the transfer market in January.
Los Blancos have struggled to adapt to life without Zinedine Zidane this season and their recent form even cost former head coach Julen Lopetegui his job at the Santiago Bernabéu, forcing Santiago Solari to take over as caretaker boss.
All signs are currently pointing to problems in the attacking third at Real Madrid, but Nacho believes that reinforcements are actually needed in defence, and the Spain international has urged the club to activate a buy-back clause for Espanyol star Hermoso.
"We are used names being mentioned all year long," Nacho said, quoted by the Express. "If someone has to come, I hope it's Mario Hermoso."
It is understood that the 23-year-old has a €32.5m release clause in his contract at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. However, Real Madrid have the option to activate a buy-back clause, which will cost the club just €7.5m.
Mario Hermoso was huge for Espanyol tonight - supremely composed under pressure.— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) November 5, 2018
Countless instances of him sweeping up loose balls and resetting possession; a number of progressive runs and passes into midfield; and his timing in aerial duels was almost immaculate.
Hermoso rose through the ranks at Real Madrid but was never offered the chance to step into the club's first team, eventually swapping the Spanish capital for Catalonia in 2017 on a free transfer.
Since then, Hermoso has become one of the hottest defensive prospects in Europe and is currently among the top-performing defenders in La Liga, helping Espanyol climb up to second place in the table, just three points behind bitter rivals and reigning champions Barcelona.
Real Madrid have been linked with some big names ahead of the January transfer window, including defenders like Kalidou Koulibaly, but signing Hermoso at such a cut-price could prove to be one of the best coups this season.