Real Madrid and Aston Villa have received a potential boost in their efforts to sign Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong.
The right-back has been one of Leverkusen's leading lights so far this season, as the club have made their best start to a Bundesliga season in history.
Leverkusen sit top of the table with 34 points from a possible 36, two points clear of Bayern Munich in hot pursuit.
Free-flowing attacking football has been commonplace since Xabi Alonso took over, and Frimpong has flourished, contributing to 12 goals already from a wing-back position this season.
Frimpong is already over halfway to beating his tally from last season, where he contributed to 20 goals in 48 appearances for Bayer.
The Dutchman on the right has formed a formidable wing-back partnership with Alex Grimaldo on the left, as the recent recruit has 15 goal involvements himself already after just 18 games.
Leverkusen manager Alonso has been strongly linked with the Real job amid rumours that Carlo Ancelotti will take up the role as Brazil manager at the end of this season.
Fabrizio Romano revealed recently that Leverkusen had offered Frimpong a contract until 2028, and the player was interested in signing on with his current club.
However, Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg now claims that Frimpong is keen to move on in 2024, with the club expecting him to depart.
It is believed there is a release clause in the 22-year-old's contract that will become active next summer worth around €40m (£34.6m).
Whether any possible clause will be active in January is not yet clear, but it is expected that Leverkusen would demand a much larger sum to let Frimpong leave mid-season with the position that they find themselves in in the Bundesliga table.
Villa have dealt with Leverkusen as recently as this summer, when they signed Moussa Diaby from the Bundesliga club, so Unai Emery will hope that getting that deal done will help talks go smoothly if they are to enter the market for the right-back as well.