Real Madrid have tabled an offer of £20million for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.
President Florentino Perez is determined to press ahead with his move for the Spain playmaker and sees him as the perfect anchor to a new-look midfield that could yet contain Chelsea target Kaka.
Perez said: 'As a fan, I would say that Xabi is a great player. I think he is the best passer of the ball in Europe.
'I would be happy (to have him), but I cannot talk about the player without having spoken first to Rafa Benitez, as he is the one who needs to know that we are interested in his player.'
Though Benitez may well be angered by a familiar Real tactic of going public with their interest in a transfer target, he knows Alonso's thoughts are now focused on his next move.
Alonso, 27, is a key figure at Anfield, particularly after they missed out on Gareth Barry, but has grown concerned with continued speculation over his future.
He is keen to stay in England but is due to join up with the national side for the Confederations Cup in South Africa next week and Spanish sources say Madrid will try to persuade him that now is the right time to return to La Liga.
Benitez, meanwhile, is ready to offer Turkey's Tuncay the chance to extend his Barclays Premier League stay by bidding around £5m for the Middlesbrough striker.
Asked about the possibility of a move to Anfield, Tuncay said: 'I have heard something about that, but there has been nothing official so far. Of course, I would like to play for a big team.'
Benitez, who is also considering an approach for Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil as an affordable option for increasing Liverpool's attacking threat, has not given up hope of agreeing a fee for Valencia's Spain winger David Silva.