Real Madrid want to sign Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez this summer as part of their squad overhaul, report Diario AS.
The Uruguayan defender signed a new long-term contract at Los Rojiblancos last summer until 2023 with his new deal including a reported €105m release clause.
The report claims Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but the club hierarchy – and primarily president Florentino Perez – believes Gimenez is a more affordable and attainable target.
However, in October the player told La Sexta when asked about the possibility of switching clubs in the Spanish capital: “I could never do it, I cannot even contemplate it.
“These rumours in media always spring up when we are playing in a Madrid derby, it is normal to fill in newspapers.
“Nobody from Real Madrid has ever spoken to me to ask the question and the answer would not be a positive one.”
Lucas Hernandez has already confirmed his exit from Atleti while Filipe Luis and Diego Godin are also likely to depart.
The defensive exodus may not stop there, with Stefan Savic and Santiago Arias also having their futures coming under scrutiny, while Juanfran is also out of contract.