Real Madrid are believed to be interested in signing Argentine midfielder Santiago Ascacibar as the club begin their search in providing some competition for Casemiro and Marcos Llorente.
The 20-year-old, who has been dubbed the new Javier Mascherano, only joined German side VfB Stuttgart during the summer transfer window. However, Real Madrid could tempt the Swabians into a sale if the right money is offered for the tenacious midfielder.
Spanish media outlet Don Balon claim that Real Madrid's interest in Ascacibar is still at an early stage and no formal approach has been made.
However, should Madrid's stance on the defensive midfielder change they will be confident of bringing Ascacibar from the Mercedes-Benz Arena to the Santiago Bernabéu - just like they did with Sami Khedira in 2010.
Ascacibar is still a relatively unknown quantity in European football, having only joined Stuttgart during the summer transfer window.
The 20-year-old has gone on to make 14 Bundesliga appearances since completing his move from Estudiantes, claiming an assist in Stuttgart's convincing 3-0 victory over SC Freiburg in October.
Despite his size, Ascacibar is an extremely aggressive defensive midfielder who hasn't shied away from getting into a physical battle against the strongest players in the Bundesliga. However, his willingness for a challenge can often get the better of him, with the youngster already picking up seven yellow cards this season.