Premier League foes Manchester United and Arsenal would appear to have been handed a sizeable boost in the race to sign Ilkay Gundogan, with the player's father having seemingly confirmed that his son has no imminent deal in place with Real Madrid.
23-year-old Borussia Dortmund playmaker Gundogan has been dogged by injury of late, having suffered a recurrence of a particularly problematic back issue while representing his native Germany in a friendly in August.
Nevertheless, the midfielder's enduring class as an integral member of Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad at Signal Iduna Park has seen him linked with a move to the English top-flight of late, with those aforementioned title contenders both reportedly keen to sign Gundogan.
Earlier today, reports emerged from Spain suggesting that it was, in fact, Real Madrid that had emerged as frontrunners in the race for the German's signature.
Spanish newspaper Marca seemingly suggested that the La Liga giants were set to formalise a gentleman's agreement detailing that Real would be the chief contenders for Gundogan as part of a potential deal that would see fellow midfielder Nuri Sahin make his loan switch permanent.
However, according to Gundogan's own father, no such agreement would appear to have been reached.
"There is no agreement between Gundogan and Real Madrid," he told Kicker in an interview that was quoted by the Daily Star.
"We only stopped contract negotiations with Dortmund because we do not want to disturb him during his injury.
"Obviously, it is possible that he will extend his contract," he added.