With Sami Khedira tipped to leave the Bernabeu this summer, Real Madrid are looking to bring in another midfield player who can play alongside Lua Modric in front of the back four, and manager Carlo Ancelotti had lined up a swoop on his former club Chesela for Brazilian international Ramires, who signed for the Blues from Benfica back in 2010.
Yet despite some poor displays last season, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants to keep Ramires at Stamford Bridge for the long-term, as few players can offer his endless running and athleticism - attributes that Ancelotti clearly wants to bring to the Spanish capital having also targeted Juventus duo Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba.
Chelsea's refusal to sell Ramires could now be a huge blow to Premier League rivals Manchester United, who have long been watching Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Carvalho all season - only for Real Madrid to now target his signature as an alternative to Ramires.
The Red Devils have been tipped to buy the 22-year-old midfielder for around £37m since the January transfer window, with some believing that a deal will be tied up after the World Cup, as Carvalho is currently away in Brazil with the Portugal squad having broken into the national team setup.
He was an unused substitute in their mauling at the hands of Germany on Monday, but there is no doubting that the Angolan-born midfielder has a huge future ahead of him - but where will he be playing his club football?
Since United appointed Louis van Gaal as their new boss, rumours of a move for Carvalho have certainly quietened down, as Kevin Strootman and Bastian Schweinsteiger appear to be the primary targets for the Red Devils. Yet if they know that Madrid are poised to bid for Carvalho, their priorities may just change - even if they'd be entering into battle with a team who just won the Champions League, a competition United aren't even in next season.