Real Madrid are targeting Raheem Sterling as part of their plan to rebuild the squad.
Zinedine Zidane is a major fan of Sterling who has enhanced his reputation this season with brilliant performances for quadruple-chasing Manchester City.
Real are bracing themselves for a £300m-plus summer spree with Neymar, Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen also on their list of transfer targets.
But they are also now watching Sterling closely after he emerged this season as one of the biggest stars of the Premier League.
They have been big admirers in the past, looking at him in 2014 and again last August when they sent scouts to watch and Real want to back Zidane’s return to the Bernabeu with major signings.
Zidane has also admitted his admiration publicly in the past, saying in 2015 that “of course we are monitoring him as a player.”
It is his progress this season which has sent his reputation soaring as he has scored 21 goals for club and country, provided 12 assists and it his figures which is the driving force behind City’s title push and run in the Champions League.
Sterling also scored twice as England won in Spain in the Nations League in October which proved his quality against top class opposition.
City are certain to fight to keep Sterling, 24, as he signed a new £300,000-a-week contract until 2023 last November.
They will also be keen to keep their squad in tact in the face of long-running worries about potential transfer bans.