Villarreal midfielder Borja Valero admits he is flattered to be linked with a return to Real Madrid in the summer.
The Spanish playmaker has become an outstanding player since leaving Real as a youngster, moving to Mallorca before a difficult spell in the Premier League two years ago.
The 26-year-old moved back to Mallorca last season and became a key figure in their qualification for the Europa League, before signing for Villarreal last summer on a five-year contract.
He has continued his excellent form for the Yellow Submarines as part of a midfield trio with captain Cani and Soriano Bruno.
Real coach Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on bringing Valero in as Xabi Alonso's midfield partner next season, with a fee of around 18million euros being the mooted asking price.
Valero admitted that his head had been turned by interest from the Bernabeu , although he felt that he may not be the only player to be targeted for a role in midfield next summer.
"They have fallen in love with many players, but of course it is a compliment that a team like Real Madrid is interested in me," he told Marca.
"The day I left the club I did with all the consequences. I tried to stay and I knew I would not because I thought my future was not there. It's the twists and turns of life. But time will tell.
"I made it clear what they wanted from me. I made the first team in pre-season and everything pointed to a new assignment or to continue in Castile (Real's youth team), where I was too old. I had to leave."