DORTMUND, Germany -- German sides Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig are fighting for the signature of RB Salzburg midfielder Diadie Samassekou, sources have told ESPN FC.
The 22-year-old Mali international has made waves in holding midfield for the Austrian outfit since joining Salzburg from Real Bamako in 2015. Samassekou spent the 2015-16 season playing for Salzburg's farm team FC Liefering in Austria's second division before making 38 appearances for the Austrian champions in the following campaign, including four Champions League qualification matches and three Europa League appearances.
His current deal is running until 2019 but Salzburg, who play first leg of the Europa League round of 16 away to Dortmund on Thursday, have the option to extend the contract for another season.
The 1.77-metre tall player has become a regular in Marco Rose's outfit as an aggressive ball-winner and astute distributor of the ball in defensive midfield.
Leipzig, who will lose midfield metronome Naby Keita to Liverpool in the summer, are in pole position to sign the midfielder due to their close ties with Salzburg as both clubs are owned by drink manufacturers Red Bull.
The player had a first chat with Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl in December and could follow the path of Keita, Konrad Leimer, Dayot Upamecano and Peter Gulacsi among other players, who moved from Salzburg to the East-German Bundesliga outfit since 2015.
However, Bundesliga rivals Dortmund are also known to be scouting Samassekou, while Leverkusen are ready to offer €10 million for the young Malian -- but Salzburg's asking price is €15m according to sources.