Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has emerged as a top transfer target for Atletico Madrid, who will make a concrete offer for the Danish defender if they can find a buyer for Toby Alderweireld in the next two weeks.
Agger has spent nine seasons at Anfield and become a firm fan favourite in the process, but with Liverpool added Dejan Lovren to central defensive options which already include Mamadou Sakho and Martin Srktel competition for places this year is strong to say the least.
The 29-year-old is aware he'll need to move on if he wants guaranteed first-team football next season and Arsenal have been consistently mentioned as a viable option for the experienced centre-back, but Mundo Deportivo believe Atletico are now in pole position to complete another major summer signing.
Atelti join the race
Liverpool don't need to sell Agger and with Champions League commitments pressing this season would like to persuade the defender to stay and fight for his place, but with plenty of interest across the continent that now looks increasingly unlikely.
Arsenal for example are desperately short of experienced cover at centre-back and need to find a direct replacement for new Barca star Thomas Vermaelen, with the Gunners still mulling over an offer worth £10m.
Arsene Wenger has yet turn interest into a concrete offer though, which means if Atlei can get Alderweireld off the wage bill they want Agger to come in and rival Diego Godin and Miranda at the Vicente Calderon next season.
Toby holds the key
Aldeweireld's future holds the key to any deal for Agger, with the versatile Belgian defender failing to live up to Diego Simeone's exacting standards during a debut season in Madrid spent largely on the periphery.
The 25-year-old was linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and even Tottenham Hotspur early this summer, although all three have since turned their attention to other transfer targets.
Atletico are now scrambling to find a permanent buyer for a player that doesn't figure in Simeone's plans for this season's defence of a La Liga title won against all the odds last term.
If as expected Alderweireld moves on before La Liga kicks off there's room for Agger at Atletico, so time is running out for Arsenal to make a move if they are still serious about finding quality cover before the transfer window slams shut.