Manchester City have rejected speculation that they are about to launch a big-money move for Cristiano Ronaldo.
With relations between Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho said to be strained, it has been suggested City could swoop with a bid far in excess of the £80million Real paid Manchester United for the former world player of the year two years ago..
But a City spokesman said: "There is no substance in these reports whatsoever,"
Before manager Roberto Mancini can think about who he wants to bring in, he must resolve issues around players no longer thought to be required.
Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy are both certain to return after West Ham and Cardiff were condemned to the Championship next season, whilst it is also expected Emmanuel Adebayor will not have his stay at Real extended.
City can guarantee a third-placed finish in the Premier League if they beat Bolton on Sunday. That would ensure an automatic berth in the group stages of next season's Champions League.
However, they appear to have a battle on their hands to keep star striker Carlos Tevez, who is reported to have told Argentinian radio station Radio del Plata: "I want to leave Manchester City. Football has changed a lot for me and I don't know if I will even make it to the next World Cup. And that has nothing to do with whether I'm selected or not.
"I've been treated very well here and I'm grateful. I also gave my everything for the club to receive the results it has had. But I need a change of scene."
Mancini said after the midweek win over Stoke that he expected Tevez to remain at Eastlands.