Real Madrid have reportedly had a bid rejected for VFB Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard, as a who's who of Europe's elite pursue the signature of the World Cup winner.
The Spanish giants were seemingly keen to begin preliminary talks with the player ahead of a January move, but Stuttgart have no interest in allow one of their key players leave midway through the season, according to German outlet Sport Bild (via the Metro).
Despite the bid being rejected, it is thought that Real remain among the favorites to secure the 22-year-old's signature, amid reported interest from Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Manchester United and Juventus among other suitors.
Pavard was one of the surprise stories of the 2018 World Cup, featuring as the first choice right back for eventual winners France, and impressing hugely despite being expected by many to feature sporadically at best.
His wonder-strike in France's 4-3 last 16 victory over Argentina announced his arrival on the big stage, and he went on to become a key performer throughout the remainder of the knockout stages.
Despite cementing his place as his country's first choice right back, Pavard has the distinction of playing at centre-back at club level, starting each of Stuttgart's five Bundesliga games there this season - making him an attractive prospect to a number of elite clubs.
He was linked heavily with a move to Bayern over the summer, and the German champions are another club who still hold an interest in the player. However, Niko Kovac's side will have to move things along if they are to get the deal over the line, with Real reportedly circling.