Thomas Gravesen may end up leaving Real Madrid in the transfer window - but reports of a Manchester United bid are wide of the mark.
The 29-year-old former Everton midfielder has been eased out of the first-team picture at the Bernabeu this season, raising speculation of a return to the Premiership just 12 months after he quit Goodison Park.
Sir Alex Ferguson is known to be in the market for a central midfielder and has already confirmed he has no interest in recruiting Germany skipper Michael Ballack.
But, after an outlay of £12million on defensive duo Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic, it was thought Ferguson would wait until the summer before bolstering his midfield ranks.
Yet the potential availability of Gravesen - who did not even make the bench for last weekend's encounter with Villarreal despite a host of injuries and suspensions in the Real camp - is sure to have alerted Ferguson, and the presence of the Dane's agent John Sivebaek in Madrid this afternoon has only heightened speculation.
But United officials have rejected talk of a bid and Sivebaek insists his arrival in Spain was purely connected with a deal which has seen Morten Skoubo move from Bronby to Real Sociedad. And the former Manchester United player claims he only moved onto Madrid as an afterthought.
"I was here anyway so I thought I would meet up with Thomas and go to watch Real Madrid's game against Athletic Bilbao tomorrow," said Sivebaek.
"The situation regarding Thomas has not changed at all. He has not played as many matches as he expected over the last few months and at 29 he just wants to play.
"If he can't do it in Madrid he might have to find another place to play but that situation is no different to last week.
"There is certainly no transfer imminent and if Manchester United have made a bid, I know nothing about it."
Sivebaek is hoping to arrange a meeting with Madrid officials over the next few days but with a recall looking less likely by the week, it does appear Gravesen's days in Spain are numbered.
However Real Madrid coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro claims he would be surprised if reports that Gravesen wants to return to the Premiership are true.
"I am surprised by the things that are written in the press," said Lopez Caro.
"I have not noticed anything, if I had I would have spoken to him.
"I only have praise for Gravesen, he is an excellent professional and a fantastic person. However, if anyone is not happy they can leave.
"Whoever doesn't want to help this team, they shouldn't lie to themselves or to the club or to those that are working."