Spanish giants Real Madrid are looking to sign a new star centre back to provide competition for Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos at the heart of Real's defence.
The partnership of Varane and Ramos is arguably one of the finest in the world, but Nacho is their only real competition for the position in the squad. As a result, the duo have been Real's preferred defensive pairing for almost three consecutive seasons, without any real threat to their positions.
Spanish outlet Marca claim that Real's search for a "world class" centre back began last year when Pepe left the club to join Besiktas. The club targeted the likes of Lucas and Jose Gimenez of Atletico, alongside Barcelona's Samuel Umiti, but found their advances instantly rejected by all three players.
The club are also believed to be keen on Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos, but Marca claim that they are not prepared to negotiate with the Parisians as they do not want to risk hampering any potential future deal for Neymar.
Real are open to signing an incredibly talented youngster who is almost certainly set to become one of the world's best, similar to the signings of Ramos in 2005 and Varane in 2011. They had hoped to have done that when, in 2015, they signed Real Zaragoza's Jesus Vallejo. However, after loan spells in La Liga and the Bundesliga, Real are not convinced by the 21-year-old.
They are keen to arrange a further loan deal for Vallejo, or even a permanent move with a buy-back clause, as their search for their next great centre back continues.
As it stands, Corinthians' Leo Santos and Espanyol's Mario Hermoso are high on Real's wish list, with the club possessing an option to sign the latter for just