Sky Sports News understands that Real Madrid could lodge a rival bid for Arsenal captain and long-term Barcelona target Cesc Fabregas.
The Spanish midfielder has been linked with a return to his homeland for some time, having progressed through the youth ranks at Barca before joining the Gunners at the start of his senior career.
A move back to Camp Nou had appeared the most likely scenario if Arsenal did decide to let the 24-year-old leave, but the two clubs have never been able to agree on a fee.
Reports surfaced last week that Barcelona had been in contact, but club president Sandro Rosell stated that he would not pay over the odds for Fabregas and actually valued the player as cheaper than 12 months ago.
Spain-based journalist Graham Hunter has now told Sky Sports News that Real Madrid have made an approach to Arsenal regarding Fabregas.
It is understood that Real value the player at €50million (£45m), which is far closer to Arsenal's asking price than Barcelona have reached.
Considering Fabregas' close links to Barca and the fact the two Spanish clubs are such fierce adversaries, it is unclear whether Real would be successful in luring the midfielder to the Santiago Bernabeu.
But he is a favourite of the board at Real and head coach Jose Mourinho, who wields substantial power over transfers, is also an admirer of Fabregas' qualities.
Madrid relied heavily on Xabi Alonso to influence matches in the centre of the field last season and view Fabregas as somebody who could make a big difference.