Manchester United's hopes of convincing David de Gea to ignore the lure of Real Madrid in favour of signing a contract extension could be enhanced thanks to FIFA.
World football's governing body are investigating Real Madrid following their acquisition of two youngsters in 2012, according to reports in Spain.
It's understood that the deals to sign Manuel Godoy and Fernando Macias are under investigation - and, if found guilty of any wrongdoing, Real Madrid risk being hit with a similar punishment to Barcelona's 12-month transfer ban handed out by FIFA in April 2014.
Real Madrid could be punished
Barcelona have attempted to overturn the ban by launching multiple appeals over the past eight months, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed the Catalan giants' final appeal last month, which means the club are now prohibited from signing any new players until January 2016.
Real Madrid risk being hit with a similar transfer ban unless FIFA rule in their favour - and the Express report that the odds of De Gea leaving Old Trafford for the Bernabeu this summer have drifted on Betfair's market from 5/2 to 8/1.
De Gea's future
The Spanish goalkeeper's future is currently the subject of intense speculation. De Gea has less than 18 months left to run on his current contract, which expires in the summer of 2016, and talks between his representatives and Manchester United have come to a standstill.
It's been reported that United are prepared to pay De Gea £200,000-a-week to keep him at Old Trafford, which would make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in football history.
The former Atletico Madrid starlet has flourished into one of the world's best keepers during his three-and-a-half years with the Red Devils, and is reportedly happy at the club.
United gunning for top-four finish
However, he wants to know that Manchester United will soon be in a position to challenge for major honours once again. Furthermore, he wants to feel more appreciation, according to leading Spanish newspaper Marca.
Much could depend on whether Manchester United secure a top-four finish in the Premier League table this season.
A player of De Gea's class will have his sights set on winning the Champions League - and may feel that he stands a better chance of achieving that dream at Real Madrid.
But a move to the Bernabeu could be left in tatters depending on how FIFA view their transfer dealings from 2012.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms