Real Madrid's dealmaker Jorge Valdano has admitted the club are still in the hunt for Liverpool's Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Sportsmail revealed this morning that Liverpool were ready to sacrifice Alonso to raise funds after spending more than they hoped on Glen Johnson, who arrived from Portsmouth for £17million.
And Madrid are ready to step up their pursuit, with Bernabeu sporting director Valdano telling Spanish newspaper AS: 'We have possibilities there but I don't want to say anything that will make the negotiation more difficult. We will wait a reasonable amount of time.'
Liverpool rejected a £20m approach from Madrid for Alonso last month but expect to land their man for about the £30m mark.
The 27-year-old is thought to be keen to leave Anfield and Liverpool would prefer to sell to Madrid than Chelsea or Manchester City, who have also shown interest.
Rafa Benitez may decide to sacrifice Alonso and instead concentrate on keeping Javier Mascherano from Barcelona's clutches.
The Anfield boss has called Mascherano several times to discuss the Argentina captain's happiness, but Alonso revealed yesterday he had not heard from his boss.
When asked if Benitez had been in touch during Alonso's duty with Spain at the Confederations Cup in South Africa, the former Real Sociedad player said: 'Well no, but he's probably aware of what's going on. Benitez closely follows all the games.'
Johnson's arrival signals the exit for Arbeloa, whose agent Manuel Garcia Quilon was at the Bernabeu yesterday.
The 26-year-old came through the ranks at Madrid before leaving for Deportivo la Coruna in 2006 and Valdano said: 'The lad only has a year left on his contract with Liverpool and this gives us more possibilities.
'He can play in two or three positions and this versatility is
good. He is another option to evaluate.'