Real Madrid director of sport Jorge Valdano believes the club face defeat in their bid to land a number of big-name transfer targets, including Liverpool's Xabi Alonso.
Florentino Perez, who was first in charge during the famous 'galacticos' era, returned as president and wasted little time in rebuilding the team, swiftly signing Kaka from AC Milan before tabling a world-record offer for Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo. But Valdano admits it will be difficult to bring in several other of their main targets.
"It is always complicated to sign players, even though it may not seem like it by how fast we've signed Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo," he told Radio Marca and Onda Cero.
"With regards to Xabi Alonso, Liverpool made an announcement on Sunday and it seems to me they don't want to sell him, so it will be hard for him to end up playing here.
"I've always liked him, since my first time at Real Madrid. I did a massive effort to bring him here a few years back, we met with Real Sociedad but when I left the deal slipped into the background.
"Liverpool valued him at 18million euros last year because he wasn't an essential player. But he is now. They've given him more chances to play and he has responded magnificently."
Madrid are trying to build a team to challenge treble winners Barcelona but face losing out to their bitter rivals in their bid to snap up David Villa from financially-stricken Valencia. Reports suggest Barca are prepared to pay around 50million euros, as well as offer players Bojan Krkic and Jose Martin Caceres, for the Spain international and Valdano admits they are not prepared to better that bid.
"If Barca have offered 50million for Villa, plus Bojan and Caceres, I would sell if I was Valencia because we're not going to try and top that," he added.
"We have been in discussions over the last week and there were disagreements. On top of money, they want a player and that was causing problems. What had seemed to be a deal on track instead became twisted. We don't know why the price became so high."
Valdano also confirmed they are unlikely to bring Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery to the Bernabeu, again because the price is not right.