Despite the odds being massively stacked against them, Real Madrid are reportedly aiming to rival Chelsea for the audacious capture of Lionel Messi.
French newspaper Le 10 Sport, quoting Spanish source Punto Pelota, reports that the Spanish giants could make an attempt at bidding for the Argentinian magician in the summer, with an eye on targeting his €250million release clause.
This follows numerous rumours that three clubs were in conjunction with sponsors Adidas in a mooted deal to try and activate Messi's release clause this summer, only to be rejected.
Adidas have since denied their involvement in the plots, but that hasn't stopped the press for latching onto the idea that Barcelona's crown jewel could leave the Nou Camp in 2014.
It has also been speculated the Chelsea are willing to attempt to have another go at luring the world's best player away from his Catalan club, and will compete with Madrid next summer.
This is backed up by the view of renown Spanish football agent François Gallardo, who said Messi: "Will go from Barcelona in the near future."
Of course Messi himself has repeatedly stated his desire to end his career at Barcelona, and it's incredibly unlikely that he will move away, especially not to Madrid's fiercest rivals.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms