Chelsea are reported to have lodged a bid for Uruguayan international Martin Caceres.
The left-sided central defender is currently on a season-long loan at Recreativo from Villarreal.
The 20-year-old signed for Villarreal last year on a five-year contract after impressing in the World Youth Cup and they opted to send him on loan to help him adapt to life in Spain and Europe.
But Caceres' performances have been beyond expectations and he is already attracting interest from some of the continent's biggest hitters.
Real Madrid made an enquiry but before they had a chance to take it further - Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich stepped in with a 10 million euros (£7.6million) bid but that was rejected by Villarreal.
Caceres's current buy-out clause stands at 20 million euros (£15.2million) which neither Chelsea or Real are likely to go to - but the English side have not given up.
It is claimed that Villarreal's sporting director Jose Manuel Llaneza flew to London earlier this month to hold talks with Abramovich - when the initial offer was lodged.
Villarreal have now left the situation firmly in Chelsea's court and although they are willing to talk - they are more than happy with their valuation of the player.
Indeed Villarreal, who are well placed to return to the UEFA Champions League next season, could introduce Caceres to their own first-team squad next term.
Both Chelsea and Real are now looking closely at the situation with Spanish sources claiming both should mount bids close to 15 million euros in the coming weeks but it remains to be seen whether Villarreal will accept or not.