Any hopes English clubs had of signing Franck Ribery may have been dashed after the Bayern Munich star reaffirmed that he would prefer a move to Spain.
The 26-year-old has been consistently hitting the headlines as his future is uncertain due to the fact that his contract expires in the summer of 2011.
Bayern want to keep Ribery, but he has yet to commit and the German giants may therefore sell at the end of this season rather than allowing him to leave for nothing 12 months later.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have been linked with the France international, but Real Madrid and Barcelona would appear to have an edge.
"It is still a very difficult decision which I have to make - my future and my career are at stake," Ribery, who has said in the past that he is attracted by Real, told Bild.
"But no decision has been made yet. I am the one poring over things the most at the moment. I would have to lie if I said that there is no tendency.
"Although Chelsea is obviously a big club, if I were to decide against Bayern, then I would certainly go to Spain."
Ribery's decision will not be based purely on finances, although he has reportedly demanded a five-year contract to give him economic security, but will also factor in his desire to play with some of the world's top players.
"I have got to consider many factors," he added. "Money is not the only issue. The difference between the clubs is no longer so big.
"The decision will therefore not be made with my bank account, but in my head. It has to be not only good for me, but also for my wife (Wahiba) and children.
Respect and love
"Wahiba is certainly a southern woman and she needs the sun. I am also only human and when you get an offer from such a club (as Real Madrid), then it is only right that I am allowed to consider it. The best players in the world play there."
There is, however, still a chance of him extending his stay with Bayern, as long as they can also offer him the security he demands.
"I am not saying that we cannot feel happy in Munich," he said. "Bayern is a great club who want to offer me the best conditions ever. I feel a lot of respect and love here."
Meanwhile, Arjen Robben has denied reports he advised his Bayern team-mate to choose Barcelona over Madrid if he decides to leave the German giants.
The Dutchman, who spent two seasons at Madrid prior to his move to Bayern last summer, told Radio Marca: "I never said that. He has the quality to play for both teams, but what I prefer is for him to stay at Munich. Hopefully he will continue with us. I love playing alongside him."