Angel Di Maria's proposed exit from the Bernabeu seems all the more likely after the winger's agent hinted that issues with the Real Madrid hierarchy could force the player into a January move.
ESPN FC's Spanish correspondent Dermot Corrigan reported Eugenio Lopez's comments on his client's situation in the capital, saying: "[Di Maria] has a contract which runs until 2018. Many clubs want him. There is a presidential issue there. But I do not want to talk about it."
One can only assume Di Maria's representative is referring to Florentino Perez, and despite his protests against speaking on the matter, Lopez says just enough to suggest there is some unease about the Argentinian's current situation.
It's also worth noting that while Lopez acts on behalf of the 25-year-old, Di Maria's rights are actually owned by one of European football's most powerful figures, Jorge Mendes, per Corrigan's article.
The Portuguese "super agent" boasts a long and illustrious list of clients in his contacts book, among which Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Radamel Falcao all figure.
And it's with fellow South American Falcao that Di Maria could find himself linking up in 2014, Corrigan suggesting that big spenders Monaco are at the front of the queue to sign Real's unsettled star.
The Express' Ben Jefferson has even reported that negotiations are already underway with Monaco, meaning Manchester United would miss out on a player with whom they've been linked since his days in Portugal.
The flanks are one of the areas that David Moyes is looking to reinforce this winter, with the likes of Nani, Ashley Young and Wilfried Zaha falling short of the mark this term.
The impact of Gareth Bale's arrival in Spain hasn't been quite as severe for Di Maria as some were predicting this summer, but Carlo Ancelotti's use of the former Benfica talisman has started to diminish.
The wide asset has started in just two of Real's last six matches, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk, a visible drop compared to the 11 starting XI berths managed across all competitions up until the beginning of November.
Di Maria has managed to take his chances well in Europe, scoring three goals and making five assists in his six Champions League outings this term.
However, Bale's acclimation to La Liga has been miraculous and the Welshman's tally of seven goals and seven assists in his first seven Spanish top flight outings, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, equals a magnificent average of having a direct hand in two goals per game.
With that kind of quality on display, it would be difficult to argue with Ancelotti in terms of who deserves the starting spot more in Madrid, regardless of how talented Di Maria might be.