Real Madrid may be ready to break the bank to secure the services of Tottenham Hotspurs' Gareth Bale, but the 24-year-old hasn't been considered among the top three players in Europe.
The list of nominees for Europe's Best Player award was cut from 10 to the final three. In fact, Bale - who claimed a full sweep among the annual domestic awards last season - was never in contention at all.
The Welshman was eighth after the second round of voting, conducted by a panel of select journalists from the UEFA's members association.
Instead Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery were left after the preliminary voting concluded.
The winner is due to be announced on the 29 August after the final round of voting has been cast.
Bale has been touted among the world's best players after a dazzling season saw the Welshman net 21 goals in the Premier League last season, single-handedly taking Spurs to the brink of Champions League qualification.
The 24-year old's superb performances have forged strong links with a summer move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, who last week saw a world record €100m (£86m) bid rejected by the north London club.
Manchester United's Robin van Persie was the only other player from the Premier League to make the final 10, but the Dutchman - who scored 26 times, helping United to the league title in his first season with the club - was in 10th position.
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