Real plotting Steven Gerrard swoop
The Madridistas, under the guidance of returning president Florentino Perez, splashed more than €200 million on player recruitment this summer, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Raul Albiol and Anfield duo Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Despite the influx of quality, the new-look Bernabeu side have struggled to gel so far this term, with defeats to Sevilla and AC Milan ensuring that los Blancos still have much work to do if they are to topple 2008/09 treble-winners Barcelona.
And, according to a Real source, club supremo Perez is already formulating a list of potential arrivals ready for the start of next season, with England international Gerrard - who has made more than 350 club appearances for the Reds - top of the wish-list.
"It's no secret Gerrard is a player Perez and technical director Jorge Valdano admire," said an insider, as reported by The Sun.
"There is a shortlist for next season and Gerrard is the first name on it."
The report claims that the club will offer around €30 million for Gerrard at the end of the season - the same amount paid for fellow Liverpool midfielder Alonso.
Gerrard reportedly came close to leaving the Merseysiders four years ago after growing frustrated at the club's failure to mount a serious Premier League title challenge, with then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho keen to pair the influential midfielder with Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
However, the 29-year-old changed his mind following Liverpool's unlikely Champions League triumph in Istanbul.