The Real Madrid transfer rumour mill was working overtime amid reports the club may actually sell a player, midfielder Guti, while concentrating their search for a centre half on three Roma stars as they track a multitude of top names.
According to AS sports daily, Real may sell Guti, veteran of their last three Europeen Cup wins but who turns 30 in October, to city rivals Atletico.
AS said Atletico - who are also tracking Portuguese international Maniche from Dynamo Moscow but see Guti as a link man for striker Fernando Torres - have offered five million euros (6.4 million dollars) but Real are said to want 16 million euros (20.4m dollars).
Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen is already in the out-tray.
Real are looking to raise cash for a raid on AS Roma as they target a trio of defenders - Frenchman Philippe Mexes, Ghanaian Sammy Kuffour and Romanian Christian Chivu.
At the same time, the Madrid giants are still trying to capture Mahamadou Diarra from Lyon and Arsenal's Spanish winger Jose Antonio Reyes.
At the back Real already have Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro freshly arrived but coach Fabio Capello wants to bring in someone with added height with injury-prone England defender Jonathan Woodgate his tallest central defensive option.
In attack, speculation still surrounds Ronaldo, following the signing of Dutchman Ruud Van Nistelrooy, while Italian Antonio Cassano is back in favour after scoring in the friendly with US outfit DC United.
Ronaldo, who interests AC Milan according to Italian reports, is set to be the odd man out in the starting line-up, according to AS, which forecast Van Nistelrooy will play just on front of the iconic though latterly out of form Raul.
The newspaper also said Br azilian Cicinho would put the pressure on David Beckham, who is desperate to win his first trophy in this his fourth season at the club.
Marca daily, meanwhile, reported that Real are in talks with Mexican side Atlas to sign Andres Guardado for their nursery side Castilla for a two-year loan with an option to buy. The Mexicans want four million euros for Guardado.
AS meanwhile said that if French champions Lyon do lose Diarra to the Bernabeu they will seek to replace him with Lens midfielder Alou Diarra, said to be a target for Roma.