Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso faces up to three months on the sidelines after fracturing a bone in his foot - and the injury could have negative repercussions for Manchester United's transfer plans this summer.
The Daily Express reports United's pursuit of Luka Modric may now suffer as Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is forced to promote the Croatian into a more prominent starting role until Alonso returns.
Modric featured under Ancelotti even before Alonso's injury, but the report claims the former-Chelsea boss will now block any of his midfielders leaving this summer to cover for the Spaniard's absence.
Manchester United have already endured a frustrating transfer window, having had their interest in Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas knocked back.
Modric was believed to be another top level target for United boss David Moyes, who hoped Madrid's move for Gareth Bale would encourage the Spanish giants to offload a few of their fringe stars.
Everton refuse to entertain bids for Marouane Fellaini and the report suggests Moyes was prepared to turn his attentions to Modric after hearing the Croatian international was reportedly open to a move to Old Trafford.
But Madrid will now be unwilling to lose a player they signed from Tottenham for £31m just 12 months ago, even with Asier Illarramendi recruited from Real Sociedad.
Moyes is desperate to strengthen United's midfield, with the squad looking weak in the middle of the park with Michael Carrick the only guaranteed starter.