Jose Mourinho is lining up a shock move for Stoke City centre half Ryan Shawcross, according to reports in Spain.
The Real Madrid boss is keen to bolster his ranks without breaking the bank in January and Shawcross has been tipped as his No 1 defensive target.
The 23-year-old is highly regarded on the continent and has also been linked with Juventus, while Madrid also fear a battle with Manchester United and Liverpool for his services.
The former United youth player was handed a debut England call-up by Fabio Capello in March but was an unused substitute for the match against Egypt.
Madrid-based newspaper AS says Mourinho is an admirer of Shawcross's physical style, which made headlines when his tackle seriously injured Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey last season.
Mourinho is also keen on £25million-rated Ajax hot shot Luis Suarez, who has also attracted interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Plotting: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho
The 23-year-old Uruguay striker's arrival at the Bernabeu would increase speculation that France striker Karim Benzema is on his way out of the club, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson a confirmed admirer.
Madrid could also strengthen in midfield with the £7m arrival of one-time Liverpool flop Momo Sissoko from Juventus.
Norway striker Huseklepp issues come and get me plea to Blackburn Peter Reid shunned the Premier League to join the. GREEN ARMY!We're no thugs! Stoke hit back at Fulham midfielder Murphy's jibes
Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Ryan Shawcross, Karim Benzema, Fabio Capello, Jose Mourinho Places: Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Spain, Egypt, France, United Kingdom