Liverpool target Lassana Diarra appears closer to a Real Madrid exit after appearing to be frozen out at the Bernabeu.
The French international's last action for Los Blancos came as a substitute against AC Milan a fortnight ago, and Diarra was left out of the squad completely for the return fixture in the Champions League on Wednesday.
His brief cameo appearance suggests the player has fallen further down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is reportedly preparing to swoop for the player.
TalkSPORT reported earlier in the week that Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Aston Villa were monitoring the situation, and their interest is likely to grow with the latest news on 'Lass'.
A player with Premier League experience after time with Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth, Real Madrid signed the player in 2009 for a fee in the region of £20 million.
After just over a year, the asking price is now thought to be half with the La Liga side looking to sell after more 'mega-deals' this summer.
The Merseyside outfit have been promised money to spend in the January transfer window by new owners NESV, and Liverpool have been linked with a string of strikers in a bid to find a foil for Fernando Torres.
However, the former Fulham boss is keen to strengthen in the core areas, and Liverpool have targeted the central midfield area as a place to spend some of the cash.
With the former Le Havre star seemingly frozen out in the Spanish capital and Damien Comolli arriving at Anfield, the Director of Football strategy's French conection could be crucial if Liverpool are to land the player.