Pep Guardiola could be forced to admit defeat in his attempts to keep 18-year-old Brahim Diaz at the club, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
The Spanish U21 international joined City in 2013 after deciding to leave his hometown side, Málaga, and is considered one of the hottest prospects in the Manchester City academy - with Guardiola taking the youngster on City's recent pre-season tour of the United States.
Absolute travesty if we lose Brahim Diaz. Got to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen— JS (@Pepological) September 15, 2017
Questions have been asked over the opportunity for young players at the Etihad after Jadon Sancho joined Borussia Dortmund over the summer, but talking about Diaz's long-term future at the club, Pep said: "We want him but today the market is the market. Maybe we can't control it. We spoke with him many times to stay here.
"City gave him the opportunity at the high level. He is happy here. He has to know that at the top level it's not easy to play."
Along with 17-year-old Phil Foden, Diaz is one of the brightest young players in England. With Celtic mulling over a move for the aforementioned Foden towards the end of the transfer window, Real Madrid will look to unsettle Diaz and lure him to the Spanish capital.
Los Blancos already have a plethora of attacking talents at their disposal.
With Isco and Marco Asensio already miles ahead of Croatian international Mateo Kovačić in the pecking order, Real Madrid are still waiting on the return of Martin Ødegaard, the 18-year-old Norwegian currently on loan with Dutch side SC Heerenveen.