Luis Suarez's proposed exit from Liverpool is in tatters following the revelation that Napoli forward Edinson Cavani has rejected the advances of Chelsea and Manchester City in favour of joining Real Madrid.
Despite claiming that Spanish football would not suit him, Cavani is said to prefer a move to Madrid over a switch to the Premier League even after declaring his desire to work with Jose Mourinho, who has returned to Chelsea for a second spell as manager.
Manchester City were said to have opened discussions over the signing of Cavani, but Real, who are without a manager after the departure of Mourinho to Chelsea at the end of the season, are the strong favourites to sign the 26 year old who has scored 102 goals in 124 matches for Napoli.
"Cavani's intention is to play for Madrid," Luis Cavani, the striker's father, told Futboleros. "He is excited about it and is very willing to see it through.
"He has told the family in private that he wants to join Real Madrid, but if he declares it publicly it will annoy Napoli.
"There has been contact with Real Madrid's lawyers and now we are waiting for the two clubs to meet," he added. "I hope it happens and that talks take place as soon as possible. Who wouldn't want to play for Real Madrid?
"It's not just up to Edi. They are talking about €65m and Napoli won't negotiate for any less."
While news of the deal is a significant blow to both Chelsea and City who were hoping to add the 26 year old to their respective misfiring forward lines, Cavani's proposed move to the Bernabeu jepordizes the chances of fellow-countryman Luis Suarez moving to Los Blancos from Liverpool.
Suarez is keen to leave Premier League after being vilified by the English media following a series of controversial on-field incidents during his two-and-a-half year spell on British shores, culminating in the forward earning a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April.
The ex-Ajax forward had declared his desire to join Madrid this summer, but with the La Liga runners-up having pledged to sign Cavani, a deal for Suarez as well appears less likely, despite the latter's hopes to play with his international team-mate at club level.
With Bayern Munich determined to sign Robert Lewandowski from domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund and Juventus having already signed Fernando Llorente and continuing to pursue Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic, possible destinations away from Liverpool for Suarez this summer are rapidly running out.
And with three years left on his current contract at Liverpool, it leaves Suarez in the potentially embarrassing situation of returning to Anfield merely weeks after stating a strong wish to leave the club.