Real Madrid are considering a move for Tottenham striker Harry Kane in January, after going more than four and a half games without scoring a single goal in all competitions.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial report that if Spurs fail to reach the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Real could use the financial blow to convince the north London side to consider an offer for their all-time leading Premier League goalscorer.
New rules allowing clubs to register a player for the knockout stages of the Champions League after playing for another club in the group stage have made a big-name January move more appetising for the likes of Real, with Spurs' group stage struggles giving rise to hopes that Kane could become available sooner than expected.
Los Blancos looked fluent going forward in the early past of the season, scoring 15 goals in six games before that run game to a juddering half against Sevilla. A mixture of good goalkeeping and bad luck – Real have hit the woodwork four times since last scoring – have contributed to the current malaise, but some fans have concerns that the lack of a true replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo is costing the club dearly.
Ronaldo left for Juventus this summer after scoring 41 goals in 40 games across La Liga and the Champions League, although he himself started slowly last season. A suspension carried over from the previous campaign meant that he missed the first four league games of the season, before striking just twice in his next ten La Liga games.
That slow start cost Real a chance to challenge Barcelona for the league title last season, but manager Julen Lopetegui will be reassured to see his club's rivals also struggling for form in the early parts of the season – with Atletico Madrid and Barca sitting just one point ahead of Real having dropped points on four occasions each.