Real Madrid are reportedly considering submitting a bid for Chelsea defender David Luiz in the January transfer window.
The Brazil international was dropped earlier this month by Blues boss Antonio Conte, following an exchange between the pair in which the Italian perceived his authority had been questioned after his side's 3-0 defeat against Roma in the Champions League.
Though Luiz was part of the defence mercilessly taken apart by the Serie A side, he felt he was unfairly singled out by the Chelsea coach for his role and was reportedly ordered to train with the youth team.
The Brazilian was surprisingly omitted from the Blues squad for the visit of Manchester United at the beginning of the month and then found himself on the bench against West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool and has been ruled out of Wednesday's night (29 November) clash against Swansea with a knee injury.
According to the Daily Mail, Luiz's protracted absence from the starting XI has alerted Real Madrid, with the Brazilian understood to be considering his options.
The defender returned to Stamford Bridge at the beginning of last season after a two-year spell at Paris Saint Germain and was named in the PFA Team of the Year as Chelsea stormed to the title. However, with the 2018 World Cup just over six months away, Luiz is well aware he has to feature regularly between now and the end of the season in order to retain his starting place for Brazil and his fall from grace under Conte does not bode well for him.
AC Milan, Manchester United and Barcelona have previously been linked with the 30-year-old but the Mail suggest the Brazilian could be tempted by an offer from the 12-time European Cup winners. The Spanish giants have struggled so far this season and go into December trailing league leaders Barcelona by eight points, while they look set to finish their Champions League group as runners-up to Tottenham Hotspur.
For a club known for its lavish spending, Real Madrid were surprisingly parsimonious in the summer, spending just over €45m on Atletico Madrid Theo Hernandez and Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos.
However, last season's Champions League winners are looking to strengthening their squad and Luiz would bolster Zinedine Zidane's options in defence and midfield. The Brazilian, however, would be cup-tied after playing for Chelsea in the Champions League, but it is understood the La Liga outfit do not see that as an issue.
Meanwhile, Conte has given the clearest indication that he will be active in the upcoming January transfer window after asking Chelsea's hierarchy to talk to him over potential signings.
The Blues have been linked with a number of players in recent weeks with the most recent being Borussia Dortmund's Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The striker is said to have fallen out with the German club and they are now willing to offload him in January.
"I think about this topic but it is better if my club ask me what I need to catch them up and then I will answer, but in a private way," Conte said ahead of the Blues' clash against Swansea City.
"We are in November and now we have to fight with this squad and I want to repeat that I am very happy to work with these players and try to do our best [this season].
"If one day the club try to ask me something about this topic, I can give my opinion but at the same time I am very happy to work for this club with these players."