Brazilian youngster Lucas Silva has claimed he "would like to play for Real Madrid" after recent reports stated the Spanish giants have earmarked him to replace Arsenal and Chelsea target Sami Khedira.
Earlier this week, Spanish newspaper Marca reported manager Carlo Ancelotti was preparing for Khedira's departure and had identified Silva as his replacement.
Marca said Los Blancos approached Silva in the summer and are ready to step up the negotiations to secure his services.
Silva added fuel to the speculations during an interview with Marca, claiming he was also likely to swap Cruzeiro for the Santiago Bernabeu.
"Of course I'd like to play for Real Madrid, it would be an honour. But for that to happen, an agreement between the clubs would need to be put in place first. I'm a Cruzeiro player and have so much respect for my club. If a club like Real Madrid came along, I wouldn't turn them down," he said.
"When a club like Real Madrid want you, it always makes you feel proud and happy. I know that I have to be focused here at Cruzeiro, that's my club, but interest from Real Madrid inspires me to keep working hard."
Silva's quotes are also a clear sign Khedira could leave Real Madrid either in January or as a free agent next summer – with both Chelsea and Arsenal reportedly monitoring the situation.
With his contract due to expire next summer, Real Madrid may consider to recoup some money from him on January to fund Silva's move while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed on Thursday 16 October he was ready to bolster the squad during the January transfer window.
"We bought four [outfield] players. Two defenders in Chambers and Debuchy and Sanchez and Welbeck. We've done remarkably well in the transfer market," he said at the club's annual general meeting.
"I agree we could have bought another player. We will try and rectify that in December ahead of the transfer market in January."
While Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is also reportedly monitoring the situation, Khedira returned to Real Madrid training on Wednesday 15 October after suffering a knee injury in September while on international duty with Germany.