Real Madrid are eyeing up Roma captain Daniele de Rossi to reinforce the Spanish giants' midfield next season, sports daily Marca reported on Tuesday.
The nine-time European champions are already planning for the 2011-12 season and their priority is to sign a midfielder who is similar to Xabi Alonso, the newspaper reported, with De Rossi topping the list of candidates.
"He has the profile that coach Jose Mourinho wants," said the paper.
Real and Roma could close the deal for 25 million euros ($35.6 million), Marca added.
De Rossi, 27, is one of the brightest stars in Serie A and scored in the penalty shoot-out to help Italy win the 2006 World Cup.
He has also reportedly sparked interest from Manchester United as a possible replacement for Paul Scholes, whose contact ends at the end of the season.
However, Rome-born De Rossi is seen as an iconic figure at Roma and the combative midfielder has been quoted in the past as saying he intends to finish his career with the club from the Italian capital.