Manchester United and Chelsea could have their long-term transfer plans disrupted if Sami Khedira is sold to the likes of Arsenal in January, as Real Madrid will look to snap up target Lucas Silva as his replacement.
According to Marca, Carlo Ancelotti has identified the Brazil youth international as the perfect addition to make up for the departure of Khedira, who could be on his way out in the upcoming January transfer window.
Scouts from both Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge have reportedly been very impressed with Silva when watching him over the past few months
However, any move for the 21-year-old is likely to attract the attention of Manchester United and Chelsea as they have been previously credited with an interest in the Cruzeiro midfielder, who has been impressing for the leaders of the Campeonato Brasileirao over past season and a half.
Scouts from both Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge have reportedly been very impressed with Silva when watching him over the past few months. A swoop for him would cost in the region of £12million - a figure that will not trouble the likes of the big-spending Premier League duo.
It now looks as though Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho will have more than just each other fighting over the very talented defensive midfielder, especially if reports of Arsenal nearing a deal for Khedira in January prove accurate.
The Germany midfielder's contract at the Santiago Bernabeu expires at the end of the season and club president Florentino Perez is unlikely to accept him leaving on a free transfer. Reports linking Khedira with the move suggest a £100,000-a-week contract will be agreed and a fee is likely to be in the region of £10million.
Chelsea are arguably best placed in all of this, as they too have been linked with an interest in Khedira. There could be scope for Stamford Bridge officials to negotiate an advantage in talks over the Khedira transfer if they step out of the way for Silva.
Manchester United are in desperate need of some midfield reinforcements in front of the defence, where there has been a lack of dynamism. Daley Blind was purchased on deadline day of the summer transfer window to address this, though he will need time to settle in and there is little back up for him.
Silva is still young though and moving to Old Trafford now, where he would likely be given time to acclimatise to the Premier League by acting as understudy to Blind and Darren Fletcher, would be the ideal time to do so.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's transfer strategy has shifted over the last couple of seasons to fall into line with UEFA's new Financial Fair Play rules and they have invested in some very talented young players.
Nemanja Matic, Ramires and John Obi Mikel are all the defensive midfield options at Mourinho's disposal, but the latter two of those three being sold at some point in the next season or two would not be a great surprise and they would need replacing.
Real Madrid, along with the others interested in him, were especially impressed with Silva when seeing him play at the Toulon tournament earlier this season. He anchored Brazil's midfield as they won the Under-20 competition for an eighth time.