After constantly being linked with Roberto Mancini's Inter Milan, the future of Fabio Coentrao has been made a lot clearer this week.
The left-back had been touted as the ideal player to fill the void at the San Siro, however, that rumour has been resoundingly quashed.
Real deal on
Respected football agent and close associate to Real Madrid, Ernesto Bronzetti, told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
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“The option of the player joining Inter doesn't even enter their (Real Madrid) thoughts. If things were to change, Coentrao would only leave for Benfica,” Bronzetti said.
That, however, doesn't mean a deal is for certain.
Real are reluctant to sell; they see Coentrao as the perfect back-up to Marcelo and Rafa Benitez is supposedly a big fan of the Portugal international's versatility.
The ex-Benfica man is also quite content to stay at Madrid - earning a high wage and potentially adding to his trophy collection isn't a prospect he wants to walk away from.
So why might a deal go through?
Transfer still possible
To put it simply, Real are in a lot of debt. They owe around €590m to banks, creditors and the Spanish government and they need to pay some money back very soon.
Although they may not want to part ways with Coentrao, they may not have much choice. He is a player who they don't rely on, and a player who may fetch a relatively high transfer fee. Inter would be willing to pay it, the question is: would Benfica?
The Portuguese champions aren't notorious for spending large sums of cash, though for a player of Coentrao's calibre they may be willing to allow an exception. With current left-back, Eliseu, passing by the wrong side of 30, Coentrao could be the answer Benfica are looking for.
Football fans, is Coentrao finally going to be on the move again this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.