Inter Milan have reportedly made the first steps to beating the competition for highly-rated Cruzeiro star Lucas Silva, reports claim.
The Brazilian U20 international has caught the attentions of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid among other clubs following a number of impressive performances over the past 18 months.
Reports in Spain during the summer suggested that Madrid were close to securing a deal as a potential Sami Khedira replacement, but a reported €10 million transfer failed to materialise.
As a result, the interest in his services has only increased ahead of the January transfer window, and Sky Sports Italia claim that Inter have taken the lead by making contact with his entourage.
“Roberto Mancini is already leaving his mark on Inter on the pitch with a new formation, this shift could have an impact on the Nerazzurri’s plans on the transfer market," states the report.
"Inter is focused on improving the midfield, their current target is Lucas Silva. Inter has made the first contacts to acquire him, he could be the addition that makes a mark on Inter’s midfield."
Standing at 6ft 0inch, Silva is described as a technical defensive midfielder with a necessary presence about him to boss the midfield.
United’s interest in him isn’t surprising given the Red Devils’ apparent lack of commanding midfielders, and he could be seen as long-term replacement for Michael Carrick.
Jose Mourinho’s side, on the other hand, have an abundance of midfield talent but the current Brazilian contingent in the Blues camp could be seen as a major pull for the Cruzeiro youngster.
After winning the Brazilian championship two years running, many observers feel that it is time for Silva to try his hand at European football and Serie A poses as just one of many possible destinations.