Manchester United are set to face competition from Real Madrid for the signing of Riccardo Montolivo, according to talkSPORT.
28-year-old Montolivo, who currently represents Italian giants AC Milan having moved from Serie A rivals Fiorentina during the summer of 2012, has exerted considerable positive influence at the famous San Siro, with this perhaps being best showcased by the fact that he was handed the captain's armband in June after just one solitary season with the Rossoneri.
The playmaker's accomplished displays have seen him linked with a possible move away from his native nation, with talkSPORT suggesting that he is a long-term target for Premier League champions United.
The Red Devils - who have endured a hugely difficult transition to life under new manager David Moyes at Old Trafford after the under-fire Scot failed to secure a number of transfer targets during the summer and is subsequently overseeing a disastrous start to the new domestic campaign - will seemingly face a battle for the Italian international's signature, however.
According to talkSPORT, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has targeted Montolivo - who has won 54 senior caps for his country - as a potential new signing at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It is speculated that the Italian sees his compatriot as an ideal replacement for former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, who looks set to depart the Spanish capital this summer with his current contract due to expire.
Whether United intend to make a move for Montolivo when the window re-opens in the new year remains to be seen.
However, given the club's continued struggles in the midfield department, the former Atalanta playmaker could provide the perfect tonic.