Real Madrid are reported to have ruled out the prospect of signing Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund, perhaps leaving the door open for Manchester United to mount their own transfer pursuit of the player.
Gundogan is out of contract with Borrusia Dortmund at the end of next season and, with no clear indication that he will sign a new deal, the Germany international has been linked with a number of clubs. Real Madrid and Manchester United have been mentioned as potential suitors, although the former appear to be out of the running.
According to El Confidencial, Real Madrid will not pursue a move for Gundogan and have gone as far as to rule it out completely. The acquisition of a creative midfielder does, however, remain a priority, although Real Madrid will instead reportedly focus their attention on the recruitment of Toni Kroos.
Gundogan has not played for Dortmund since the opening day of the season due to a long-standing back problem, and Real Madrid are not prepared to risk signing a player whose fitness remains a deep concern.
Manchester United may view the situation in a similar way, particularly given that Gundogan has been valued at around £25 million by Dortmund in the past. It may be, however, that the Bundesliga club lower their demands for the 23-year-old to make a prospective deal more attractive to his suitors.
Kroos, though, remains the key target for Manchester United manager David Moyes, who is reported to be willing to spend around £40 million in order to keep the German from the clutches of Real Madrid.