CANELO ALVAREZ is in line to face Callum Smith in his next fight before moving on to a trilogy bout with Gennady Golovkin.
The Mexican superstar, 29, was due to challenge WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, 30, this summer until the coronavirus pandemic KO’d the clash.
Canelo has since remained in the gym as he targeted a return to the ring in September.
Saunders ruled himself out of headliner, citing an inability to train, sparking a host of contenders putting their name into the Canelo sweepstake.
John Ryder, 32, Jason Quigley, 28 and Sergiy Derevyanchenko, 34 were among those considered.
But WBA super-middleweight champion Smith has now emerged as the frontrunner, according to The Athletic.
It is claimed the unbeaten 30-year-old has been offered £4million to defend his title against Canelo.
But Smith – whose brother Liam was beaten by Alvarez in 2016 – is said to be pushing for £5m.
Canelo was hoping to fight on September 12, with a reduced crowd in attendance, but with an opponent yet to be confirmed, the date could be pushed back.
Waiting in the wings will be IBF middleweight champion Golovkin – who was unfortunate to walk away with a draw against Alvarez in 2017 before losing the rematch a year later.
It is understood the middleweight rivals have agreed to a May 2021 trilogy.
Canelo is reportedly in line for a £35m payday, with GGG set to pocket £23.5m.